UAAP fans may have missed him last season, but Ateneo youngster Thirdy Ravena went to work trying to reinvent himself to be better, both in basketball and academics.
After missing the Blue Eagles’ cut in Season 78 due to academic constraints, the former UAAP juniors MVP has been busy prioritizing his school requirements while keeping himself fit for basketball.
“I’m working on it step-by-step, first, school ang priority and then working my way back, kasi mahirap lalo na 1 season ka hinding makalaro, na skip mo lahat ng training before nun,” Ravena told FOX Sports after the Ateneo training session Monday at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Complex in Quezon City.
His road to redemption was not easy, though, as he was not allowed to train with the Blue Eagles while he focused on his school work.
“There was a time na wala akong training. Medyo nahirapan ako kasi lahat ng training ko ako lang mag-isa, sikap kung ano man drills ginagawa ko ako lang,” narrated Ravena, who still has 4 playing years in college.
After hearing the news of his exclusion from the team last season, the younger brother of 2-time UAAP MVP Kiefer admitted it took time before he accepted he can’t help his then-graduating brother chase the championship dream for Ateneo.
“Actually, it’s hard to watch,” he admitted. “Di ko nga pinanuod yung first 2 games so inisip ko na lang things happen for a reason, maybe God wants me to work harder na hindi ko pabayaan yung school ko.”
With coach Tab Baldwin’s arrival to the Blue Eagle’s nest, Ravena is pumped up to train again but was also honest enough to say he is having a hard time adjusting to their new coach’s system.
“Masayang nakabalik pero yun, pinapatay pa rin. Alam naman natin na hindi madali yung pagbawi especially for Ateneo,” he said after returning to team practice 2 months ago.
“Sa training na ginagawa namin ngayon, sobrang nakakapagod. Kahit gaano ka kacondition mahahanapan ka niya ng paraan so yun come back stronger lang and work as a team,” he added.
As he returns for Ateneo, his brother Kiefer gave him some words of advice: “Sundan mo lang si Coach Tab, pagkasama mo siya sa loob ng training mahihiya ka pag hindi mo binigay lahat.” — By Jason Mercene