THIRDY Ravena has always stepped his game up whenever Ateneo is in the UAAP Finals.
Former teammates are confident the 6-foot-3 swingman can also make his mark overseas as he prepares for a stint with San-En NeoPhoenix in the Japanese B.League.
"Tawag ko nga sa kanya dati 'Finals man' kasi iba ang nilalaro niya pag championship namin sa UAAP," said Mike Nieto of Ravena, named Finals MVP through the Blue Eagles' three-peat run.
"Ngayon ang tawag ko na sa kanya 'Japan man!'"
"Matagal na namin pinaguusapan ni Thirdy yan and I'm proud kasi it's happening right now at tinuloy niya yun," added Matt Nieto, who with twin Mike have been teammates with Ravena since grade school.
Also proud to see a teammate get a chance to shine in a pro league overseas is Isaac Go, who had been teammates with Ravena for the entirety of their collegiate careers.
"He’s always talked about going abroad, to see what its like to be a professional outside of the Philippines, and to gauge himself to the level of competition out there," said the top overall selection in the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft. "Now, he gets a chance to do it."
Go said it is not surprising that a Japanese club would tap Ravena as import, seeing how hard he pushed himself to make it to the next level.
"I’m really excited for him," said Go. "This just shows how much he’s work to get to this position because not everyone gets an offer like this. It is only reserved for the elite few. And I can’t wait to see him ball over there."
The Nieto twins and Go agree that the stint will help Ravena improve, and they're excited to see what he can do in Japan as a professional.
"I'm just proud of him. He deserves it and he’s bound to achieve greater things because of his work ethic," said Mike. "Alam ni T-Ravs kung gaano ko siya kamahal and kung gaano ko siya susuportahan kahit saan siya magpunta. Kapatid ko na yan at teammate ko na yan since grade school and hopefully, maging teammates ulit kami soon."
Matt ended: "I'm sure he will adjust quickly there. And whatever happens, 100-percent lagi ang suporta ko kay Thirds."