A FREQUENT flyer in his own right, Thirdy Ravena has served up a number of facials through the course of his UAAP career.
But on Sunday, he found himself on the wrong end of a highlight reel as La Salle's Jamie Orme-Malonzo soared for the two-handed fastbreak flush that sent a packed crowd at the Big Dome on its feet.
Yet as viral as the highlight may have gone on social media channels, Ravena knew better that it's just the nature of the beast.
"It’s a play. Two points for them. It happens. You get blocked, you get dunked on, part of the game," he said.
Orme-Malonzo's dunk, however, meant little to Ravena and the rest of the Blue Eagles as they took the rivalry game, 81-69, to stay unscathed in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament.
"We won the game. It doesn’t matter," said the two-time Finals MVP, who struggled with six points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field, alongside his two rebounds and two assists.
He credited the efforts of his teammates for picking up the slack.
To Ravena, the game was a perfect example of how deep this Ateneo squad is, with the Nieto twins Matt and Mike, as well as Gian Mamuyac picking up the scoring cudgels for the Katipunan side.
"That’s what we say na next man up or 16-deep na sinasabi namin, na you wouldn’t expect anybody to just play the whole game individually. Lahat kami magtutulungan," he said.
"I was playing bad, I was in foul trouble, but Mike, Mamu, and Matt stepped up. It really just talks about what we are as a team. I’m pretty sure na kahit sino pa ang ilagay ni coach Tab (Baldwin) dyan, they’ll be ready to do the same thing."
By putting the Orme-Malonzo dunk behind him, Ravena now looks forward to the Blue Eagles' next game against University of Santo Tomas, which this early is being billed as a battle of title contenders.
"Sa tingin ko simula pa lang mamaya, magta-track and field traning na kami lahat kasi we know that they’re a very fast team at di sila napapagod," he said, fully aware of the "seven seconds-or-less" attack the Growling Tigers have employed this season.
"I watched their game and they never slowed down from first to fourth quarters. So we’re gonna try our best to prepare for that "Mayhem" type of basketball once again.