THIRDY Ravena is bracing for war when the quarterfinals of the 2019 PBA D-League begins on Monday.
"Mas physical na siya compared to our past games," he said as Cignal-Ateneo heads to the crossover playoffs armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against FEU after topping the Aspirants Group with an 8-1 record.
"We have to get ready physically and mentally because everyone's going to try to throw you off with the physicality. You just have to be mentally tough for those situations."
Adding to the challenge is coach Tab Baldwin letting his wards figure things out and entrusting them to follow his system despite not really preparing any game plans.
"Yun nga yung test. Mas mahirap yung wala kaming exact gameplan because we have to dig deep in ourselves, we have to trust each other na gagana pa rin yung system ni coach Tab. It's a challenge for us veterans, and the rookies as well," said the two-time UAAP Finals MVP.
Ravena insists he didn’t expect Cignal-Ateneo to take top spot in the group.
"We didn't think we'll get in this position. All we've wanted was to play hard and play together," he said. "We just hope na we take every single game and learn from it. We have a long way to go, but everyone's willing to go the distance."
Despite the odds being on the Blue Eagles' favor, Ravena knows they still must still bring their A-game.
"We have to learn how to fight, play tough, and play with one another. I know that my teammates are willing to make the sacrifice, to adjust to the physicality. I trust my teammates that they'll be mentally tough," he said.