THIRDY Ravena is serving as backup if injuries to Troy Rosario and Raymond Almazan will make them unavailable for Team Pilipinas in the sixth and final window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup.
National coach Yeng Guiao said he has informed Ravena about his role in the team with Rosario and Almazan nursing injuries. Rosario is still recovering from a broken nose he sustained during a tune-up game with TNT, while Almazan still has a sprained ankle.
Rosario and Almazan, however, were present during Gilas practice on Thursday night at the Meralco Gym.
“Siya ‘yung back-up natin for Troy and Raymond just in case any of the guys can’t make it, siya ‘yng magfi-fill up nung slot,” Guiao said.
Despite the role of the Ateneo star, Guiao said he is not taking away the possibility that Ravena will be included in the final line-up of Gilas in the sixth window of the World Cup qualifiers against Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan on February 24.
“Sinabi ko na sa kanya right off the bat para alam niya ‘yung expectations niya. Of course, in the process of practicing, I do not also take away the possibility of him showing that he deserves a regular spot in the team instead of being a back-up option.
“For now, back-up option siya,” said Guiao.
Ravena attended Gilas practice on Thursday night despite playing for Ateneo in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League at the nearby Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Guiao said Ravena has not officially given the clearance by Ateneo to be part of Team Pilipinas although the national coach added Ravena is confidence he will be cleared by the school.
“Tinatanong ko siya, sabi niya, he is waiting for the final approval of his coming into the team. Pero parang mataas naman ‘yung confidence niya na papayagan siya. Siguro, hindi rin naman siya magsho-show-up sa practice kung hindi siya papayagan,” Guiao said.