TAB Baldwin is just happy that a collegiate player like Thirdy Ravena got a chance to work with some of the best players the country has to offer following Gilas Pilipinas' success in the sixth window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
"As a coach and probably with the Ateneo community, we're always proud to see one of our players wear the national colors and this is no exception," he said.
Though the high-flying swingman was only able to play spot minutes in the road games against Qatar and Kazakhstan, the former national team mentor believes that this experience will be integral in making Ravena a better-rounded player once he returns to Ateneo.
"These two games were a good introduction for Thirdy," he said.
"He got a little bit of basketball, he got a few minutes, and he gets to feel what it's like particularly from the competition. Hopefully in that environment, he also learned from our players the importance of playing for your country and the pride that should go with it. Every player should aspire to do that."
Baldwin says that the reward, though, isn't limited to Ravena himself as he expects the second-generation star to also impart the knowledge he had from that stint to the whole team, especially with him now being counted on as one of the leaders for the Blue Eagles.
"Certainly, any lessons he might learn that he can bring back to our team, we're all ears. We wanna learn as much as we can, as often as we can," he said. "So we're very proud, and we're also excited to have him back and get our roster back fully fit and fully outfitted."
While Ravena was with Gilas Pilipinas, the team has buckled down to work as Cignal-Ateneo has gone unbeaten through two games in the 2019 PBA D-League, the latest being an 82-68 victory over Family Mart-Enderun.
The Blue Eagles are bound to be more formidable once Ravena returns, with their next game set on March 7 against UST.