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Mixed emotions for Bong Ravena as he won’t get to bid farewell to Thirdy

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Bong Ravena is glad that his son Thirdy will finally fly to Japan to unfold a new chapter of his young basketball career.

The Ateneo de Manila product is scheduled to leave on Thursday to join the struggling San-En NeoPhoenix in the B.League.

He should have left last July, but the Japanese embassy was closed. It was only last October 2 that he was able to apply for a visa.

“Happy kami na makakaalis na siya, makakalaro na siya,” the TNT head coach said during the PBA media availability session, Wednesday.

The veteran bench tactician, though, did not hide the fact that he feels saddened by Thirdy’s looming departure.

Of course, the Ravena patriarch would want to see his son before he goes. But with the ongoing PBA season, he will not get the chance.

He and his eldest, NLEX star Kiefer, are both inside the bubble in Clark, Pampanga, and they will be there for at least a month.

“But sad at the same time, na malayo siya sa’min lalo na andito kami ni Kief,” lamented the 50-year-old.

Coach Bong is also wary of the challenges ahead of Thirdy as he takes his first steps as a professional cager overseas.

“He’ll live by himself there. It’s going to be hard for him,” said the 1992 PBA Rookie of the Year.

Fortunately for them, being away from loved ones isn’t as difficult as it was before.

“Buti na lang may internet. At least makikita namin siya.”

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