When he joined San-En, Thirdy Ravena knew that he would no longer be the main guy as he once was for Ateneo.
Of course, there are the team imports in Stevan Jelovac, Nenad Miljenovic, and Kyle Hunt, who have the task of scoring buckets. Then there’s the team’s veterans in Takanobu Nishikawa and Hayato Kawashima, who are Ravena’s seniors.
Despite being below the pecking order, the 23-year-old Ateneo product vowed one thing to head coach Branislav Vicentic and the entire NeoPhoenix organization.
“I’m just here to do whatever it takes to win. If I have to drive, to rebound, or shoot I’ll do it,” he said.
And that he did.
Overcoming early game jitters, Ravena broke down Shimane in his debut when it mattered the most.
Using his athleticism, the 6-foot-2 winger overpowered and outran his defenders. He scored eight of San-En’s first 14 points in the final frame.
It proved pivotal in San-En’s 83-82 escape of Shimane.
“As you can see, I still have a lot to improve on, especially my conditioning. I’m very tired, but I’m happy that the team won,” said a relieved Ravena, who had 13 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
“That was a great game especially for the fans.”
Despite his showing, it’s still far from what Filipinos have seen from Ravena.
Knowing that the Susanoo Magic will be waiting again for him on Sunday, the second generation cager plans on adjusting on the fly.
“Definitely, the opponents will adjust, they will try to counter what we do.”