The last time second-generation cagers and brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena graced the court together was back in 2014, when they played for the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in the 77th season of the UAAP under then-head coach Bo Perasol.
Since then, both Kiefer and Thirdy were never seen playing alongside each other again.
Years later, the Ravena brothers graced the hardwood together once more. It took place on a rainy Tuesday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside Ateneo — the very place where Kiefer and Thirdy had honed their craft.
But this time, they weren’t teammates. They were on opposing teams.
The elder Ravena was suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas, while his younger sibling was on the other end, still playing for the Blue Eagles. It was a tune-up match for the Nationals in preparation for the 2017 SEA Games next week.
Seeing the two guard each other was strange, since people are used to see them play on a same team and manning the backcourt. But for them, it wasn’t something new, as they have been playing the sport ever since.
“It was normal,” said the younger Ravena. “It felt like, alam mo yun? Yung feeling na parang nagwa-one-on-one kami before practice, nung mag-teammates pa kami.
“But this time, on an official game scale na.”
“Nung sa bahay nagaano pa lang kami. Aga niya nga umalis kanina. Nag-workout pa siya,” shared the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player of Thirdy, on the other hand.
“It’s something that we do for each other to challenge ourselves.”
Looking at the tune-up, the Blue Eagles gave a legitimate scare to their more veteran counterparts, especially in the end-game, where Isaac Go’s triple melted Gilas’ 10-point lead to just three, 82-79, with over a minute left to play.
Still, the SEA Games-bound squad reigned victorious, all thanks to Baser Amer and Ravena’s heroics. “Unfortunately kailangan namin mamain kasi baka mamaya sila ipadala sa SEA Games ‘pag tinalo nila kami,” said Kiefer with a grin.
“Kailangan namin [mag]pakita.”
But after the dust had settled at the Moro Lorenzo, the younger Ravena was honored to have played not just against his kuya, but against the whole national team as well, who will aim to bag home SEA Games gold once more.
“It’s a privilege na makalaro sila,” declared Thirdy.