Thirdy Ravena on ineligibility: 'It's God's way of saying I need to be better person on and off court'
Thirdy Ravena joins the rest of the Gilas cadets in a final huddle in practice before they leave for Singapore on Saturday to defend the SEA Games basketball gold medal. Jerome Ascano

THIRDY Ravena savored the last practice he had with older brother Kiefer and the rest of the Philippine basketball team before they leave for Singapore on Saturday for the Southeast Asian Games.

Who knows when they can play together again.

Ateneo sophomore Thirdy will not be eligible to play in the next season of the UAAP due to academic deficiencies, missing out on a chance to join 'King Eagle' Kiefer in his farewell appearance with the Katipunan-based school.

Thirdy and Kiefer, sons of former basketball star Bong and former volleyball player Mozzy, are disappointed.

"Of course, disappointing kasi 'di ko na alam kung kailan ko siya magiging teammate or if ever magiging teammates pa kami. It's one opportunity na nasayang," said Thirdy, who is a member of the Gilas cadet reserve pool but will not be part of the SEA Games squad.

[See Ateneo confirms Thirdy Ravena ineligible, but 'frustrated' Kiefer committed to play final season]

Before the news broke, the Ravena family already knew about the issue months ago.

It hurt deeply to this day, Thirdy admitted.

"Una kong nalaman a few months ago. I took it na sobrang sakit talaga, para akong binaril na di ko alam kung mabubuhay pa ako. Alam ko exagge(rated) pero ganoon talaga naramdaman ko," said Thirdy.

"Kasi naisip ko 'yung kapatid ko, 'di na siya makakalaro. But there's nothing you can do, it's a learning experience and there's nothing you can do but to get better," he added.

Thirdy, an incoming second year BS Comm Tech Management student, said he is confident he will come out of the dreadful experience a better person.

"I think it's God's way of saying na kailangan mong maging better as a person in and out of the court, and kailangan mo muna mag-focus sa studies," said the former UAAP juniors MVP.

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