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    Willie Marcial vows to help Thirdy Ravena amid threat of PBA ban

    Feb 12, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and Thirdy Ravena spoke on Tuesday night to clear the air on a two-year ban poised on the latter if he skips the next rookie draft.

    Marcial and Ravena were spotted talking briefly in the sidelines of Gilas Pilipinas practice at the Meralco Gym. Marcial admitted the topic of the discussion was a PBA rule that punishes rookie eligibles who skip the draft for two consecutive years.

    Marcial expressed willingness to help Ravena now that the communication line is open between the two.

    “May open communication na kami,” Marcial told SPIN.ph on Tuesday night. “Si Thirdy, nagtatanong at nagpapatulong. Sabi ko, ‘Oo.’ Anak-anakan ko na ‘yun eh. Tawag nga sa akin nun tatay."

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    "May proseso lang [na sinusunod]," Marcial added when asked about the little-known rule and how it applies in the case of Ravena.

    The former Ateneo star was the consensus No. 1 pick of the last PBA draft but decided to skip it, saying he is considering offers to play overseas, primarily in Australia, Japan, Italy, and New Zealand.

    The UAAP Finals MVP, however, faces the prospect of being banned for two years by the pro league if he once again skips the rookie draft this year.

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      According to Marcial, the league's board of governors drafted the two-year rule to discourage rookie prospects, especially the consensus top picks, from choosing the PBA teams they will play for.

      However, Ravena has made it very clear that he skipped the last rookie draft to chase a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play overseas.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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