Heading into their final televised preseason game on Saturday, Thirdy Ravena learned some pleasant news.
After almost three weeks of wait, his older brother Kiefer finally received his letter of clearance from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas after he was able to secure his release from his contracts with NLEX and the Philippine Basketball Association.
Yes, the much-awaited clash between the two Ravena brothers will finally happen on October 2 and 3 at the Ukaruchan Arena.
Of course, Thirdy can’t wait for it.
“Definitely, very excited for the home game playing against my brother,” said Thirdy, who is three years younger than Kiefer.
Though pumped is Thirdy for the first-time heads-up meeting with his brother, the second-year pro out of Ateneo is focusing on one task alone — to be the leader San-En needs him to be.
During the buildup to the NeoPhoenix’s 2021-22 B.League season, Thirdy has been promoted as the face of the team.
However, the results of their televised preseason games have been the same as last season — a lot of Ls.
Last September 11, Ravena played limited minutes in San-En’s 83-86 loss to B2 team Flying Eagles Nagoya. He finished with four points in less than 12 minutes of game time.
San-En figured in a two-game series against Levanga Hokkaido that began yesterday.
The first game was a rout with NeoPhoenix suffering a 68-97 loss. Thirdy had 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals in the contest.
Thirdy and San-En fared better on Saturday with Ravena tallying 20 points and six rebounds. However, NeoPhoenix could not get the elusive win, bowing 78-85.
“Today’s game definitely was better than yesterday’s but we still fell short.
“Hokkaido was able to keep their composure, especially in the last quarter. When we had a run, they were able to stop it right away,” Ravena opined. “When they had a run, we couldn’t keep up in the last quarter.”
Still, it’s something they can build on heading into the new season as NeoPhoenix look to win the crown for the first time since 2015.
“Still, a lot to work on as a team, and hopefully we make the most out of the practices that we have. It’s still a long way to go but the season’s coming near,” he said during the post-game interview.
“We have to make the most of what we have as a team.”