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    Bong Ravena tells son Thirdy to 'play as an import' in Japan sojourn

    Jun 24, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    BONG and Mozzy Ravena are proud to see Thirdy embark on a new chapter in his career with San-En NeoPhoenix, confident their son will be up to the challenge presented by Japan's B.league.

    "Sobrang proud namin kay Thirdy," said mom Mozzy of the three-time UAAP champion and three-time Finals MVP for the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

    "Gustuhin man namin na nandito siya sa atin, as parents, we want yung best sa kanya where he can achieve his goals. And playing internationally is where he can reach his potential."

    The Ravenas acknowledge that Thirdy has the world at his feet. And even though it's hard for them, they believe that the 6-foot-3 high-flyer will do just fine in the Land of the Rising Sun.

    "First time mawawala ng matagal sa amin si Thirdy kaya syempre may worry rin kami as parents. Pero alam namin ni Bong na kakayanin namin niya mag-isa," he said.

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    It's not that Thirdy will be by his lonesome for long. The Ravenas are planning to visit their second son from time to time.

    The Ravenas have dealt with this situation before when eldest Kiefer played for the Texas Legends in the NBA G League in 2016.

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    With the Philippines just being four hours away from Japan, they believe homesickness won't really be that much of an issue for Thirdy.

    "Mahirap para sa magulang na mangibang bansa ang isang anak na mag-isa," said dad Bong, who is also the current TNT head coach. "But we're planning on taking turns going there para may kasama siya."

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    "Same with Kief kami before. Pupuntahan din namin siya kung sino sa amin ang pwedeng pumunta. Better pa nga for Thirdy cause Japan is closer sa Pilipinas."

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      As much as the Ravenas have full belief in the capability of their son, dad Bong just gave a fair reminder to Thirdy before he gets his feet wet in the overseas league.

      After all, this is a much different stage than Ateneo or when he was with Gilas Pilipinas as the NeoPhoenix are looking at him to deliver like a true reinforcement, while also showcasing how good Filipino players can be internationally.

      "I just told him to focus, play hard, play smart, and play as an import," he said.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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