ATENEO team manager Epok Quimpo confirmed on Wednesday that Thirdy Ravena has been ruled ineligible to play for the Blue Eagles this UAAP season owing to academic problems, but assured that his older brother Kiefer is committed to play his final season with the school.
Quimpo said this was the assurance given to team management by Ravena and his family, shortly after Spin.ph broke the story revealing the ineligibility of his brother Thirdy to play in UAAP season 78.
Although Kiefer is 'frustrated' over the development, Quimpo said the 'King Eagle' has not detracted from his vow to play out his farewell season with the school before turning pro.
They Said It!
“Student athletes. Students first. Sabi ni Coach Carter." Rafael Carlos
“Kiefer will definitely stay. He is frustrated with the development. It’s a very sad turnout for him and the family. But his commitment is there,” Quimpo, a former Ateneo guard, told Spin.ph.
“Remember also that Kiefer has units left to finish. So he might as well finish it before he decides on jumping to the next level,” he added.
Quimpo said he was personally given an assurance by the older Ravena.
“Nagkausap na kami ni Kiefer. He will finish his fifth year with Ateneo. And hopefully it will make him a better candidate for next year’s PBA draft,” he said.
Quimpo bared that as much as they wanted to appeal the case of Thirdy before the school administration, they are bound by Ateneo’s policy on student-athletes.
“Everything that your sources bared (about the Thirdy case) is true. He wasn’t able to reach the 1.8 QPI (Quality Point Index) requirement and yes, he will not play next season,” said Quimpo.
“Pero it’s the policy of the school. We have no right and we have no plans to appeal that,” he said.
Quimpo, however, revealed one challenge they are now posing before the Ravena brothers, saying Ateneo is hoping to see Thirdy take over at the end of the so-called Kiefer era.
“Not to say na it’s unfortunate, it’s sad na his (Kiefer) last season, 'di sila magkakasabay. Challenge din sa kanya. (Kiefer) can dedicate this season to his brother, something that Thirdy can continue after the Kiefer era,” said Quimpo, a member of the Season 65 champion team of Ateneo.
“We want to look at it as a transition. Transition for Kiefer’s bid to winning (a championship) for Thirdy and for Thirdy to continue the winning ways,” added the Baliuag, Bulacan native.
Asked how he sees Ateneo’s chances in the coming UAAP season against rival Dela Salle and reigning champion National University, Quimpo can only hope against hope.
“I just hope Kiefer will be very much inspired to write a fitting ending to his UAAP career. And we’re optimistic especially now that we have new players coming in,” Quimpo said, pointing to controversial guard Jerie Pingoy.
As for Thirdy, the plan is to push him to focus more on his studies and hopefully welcome him back next season, Quimpo said.
“We are hoping that the school administration will allow us to have him work out with us in between semesters para in the event na tumaas na ang grades niya, pwede na siya payagan ulit to practice fully with us,” said the Smart Sports officer.