There have been many accounts about Thirdy Ravena’s lost year.
There was the story of how Thirdy used this as the inflection point of both his academic and sporting life. Or how Tab Baldwin worked on Thirdy during that year. There was also Kiefer airing his frustrations over what had happened since it was his final playing year.
But what were the emotions that ran inside Kiefer, Thirdy, and mom Mozzy during that one fateful June day back in 2015?
Kiefer revealed everything that happened during last Friday’s episode of The Prospects Pod, presented by SMART Sports and Cocolife and supported by Chris Sports.
When Ateneo released its grades online, Kiefer — then 21 years old then — was on his way to a commercial shoot for SMART with mom Mozzy. On their way to the venue, Thirdy suddenly called.
“‘Yung totoong kuwento noon, may commercial shoot ako nun for Smart. Walang biro, alam ni Thirdy ‘to. Kami ng mom ko, papunta kami sa shoot sa Smart. So on the way there, nasa Makati na kami, tapos tumatawag si Thirdy. Tapos parang naririnig ko rin na parang umiiyak nga siya,” recalled Kiefer, who is now playing for NLEX.
“Sabi ko, ‘Parang bakit kaya umiiyak ‘to? Ano kaya nangyari?’ So sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, baka may na-injure or something like that.”
Thirdy broke the news to Mozzy that he was ineligible for Season 78 due to academics.
Calm as a rock, the matriarch of the Ravena clan showed no panic.
“He was really crying and telling my mom, ‘Ma, I didn’t make it, what are we going to do?’ And then, ‘yung mom ko naman, parang sabi, ‘Oh talaga? Oh sige, sige.’ Reactions lang ‘yung nakikita ko sa kanya,” Kiefer continued.
“Hindi ko pa rin talaga nalaman hanggang sa pagkahatid sa amin. Sinabi niya na kailangan niyang umuwi, kailangan niyang umalis kaagad. Imbis na makasama namin siya sa shoot, umuwi siya kaagad, pinuntahan niya si Thirdy,” he shared.
“That’s when I kinda found out na it was really bad, the situation is really bad.”
Kiefer, on the other hand, felt helpless. He could not be with his brother at that time since he had his obligations. He could not feel mad since it had already happened.
“It was my final year. Big thing sana.”
With Kiefer earning another MVP year, Ateneo made it to the third seed in the Final Four. Facing FEU, the Blue Eagles kept toe-to-toe with the stacked Tamaraws team.
Then, Mac Belo’s buzzer-beating tip-in happened, knocking out Ateneo and ended Kiefer’s five-year collegiate career.
Five years later, Kiefer is now in the PBA, while Thirdy himself has achieved plenty.
Thirdy finished college a three-time UAAP champion — one more than Kiefer — while becoming the league’s first-ever three-time Finals MVP. Moreover, Kiefer is now the skipper of Gilas, while his brother is set to play in Japan as an import.
No more tears — just triumph.
“‘Yung feeling ko during that time, siyempre malungkot. Pero ngayon naman kung titignan mo, parang wala ka rin naman para malungkot kasi nakita mo rin naman talaga what happened to his career eh. Parang blessing in disguise pa,” expressed Kiefer.
“So, looking back during that moment, I would say I was a little bit sad and little bit disappointed. But now, the bigger picture na nakatulong pa sa kanya ‘yung ganon, it was never a sad feeling. Bakit ka malulungkot sa progress, lalo na kapatid mo pa?”