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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Thirdy Ravena hopes to have proven that he deserves to be in Gilas Elite

This early in his career, Thirdy Ravena has a big challenge ahead.

The 22-year-old swingman will be joining Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ sixth window, when they face Qatar and Kazakhstan on the road on February 21 and 24, respectively.

“We’ll be leaving with thirteen guys. Kasama na si Thirdy doon,” Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao confirmed, as Gilas will fly on to Doha on Saturday morning.

Ravena has been with the seniors’ team ever since Gilas started its preps for the upcoming window. On Friday, he had his first taste of playing alongside his elders, as they figured in a tuneup match versus the Meralco Bolts.

Ravena came off the bench and scored five points – a trey and a lay-up – in the Nationals’ dominant 100-82 win.

“Sa totoo lang, kinabahan ako nung una. Pero as I got through the game, medyo mas nag-relax ako, and I was able to be more composed,” said the 6-foot-3 Ravena. “Sana okay kay coach Yeng yung performance ko today.

“And I’m still gonna do whatever it takes to be more prepared.”

Ravena is no stranger to international play, having had stints in the FIBA 3X3 and William Jones Cup competitions. But even given his experience, the second-generation cager admitted that he still gets overwhelmed being with his seniors.

“Well, supposedly dapat wala na kasi, yun nga, I was able to represent the country a few times, and yung sa pressure sa UAAP, I think it’s kind of the same. But wala, mahirap eh. You can’t help but be overwhelmed sometimes,” the two-time UAAP Finals MVP disclosed.

“But I’m still trying my best to get over that hump.”

With him on board, there is a strong possibility that Ravena will see action in one of their games. The Ateneo Blue Eagle didn’t deny that he hopes to crack into either lineup, but he isn’t letting it rob him out of his focus.

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“Hopefully. Right now kasi ang iniisip ko lang is maging prepared ako kung anuman yung ipagawa sa’kin ni coach, whether it be helping my teammates in training or actually kung ilagay niya ‘ko sa game, kung may role siyang ipapagawa sa’kin,” shared the incoming fifth-year Blue Eagle.

“Right now yung focus ko lang talaga is my preparation, on how I can I be the best version of myself for the FIBA window.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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