MANILA, Philippines – Thirdy Ravena conspicuously skipped the last PBA Draft and that may have a lot to do with his decision to pursue an overseas career.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio revealed Ravena has plans to play in either Australia or Japan as the former UAAP star committed to Gilas Pilipinas leading up to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“Thirdy committed to us. He hasn’t signed up because he wanted to play abroad,” Panlilio told reporters on Saturday, January 4.
“When we spoke to him before the holidays and the Draft, he’s following the path of Kiefer. Thirdy is looking at opportunities in Australia and Japan.”
Just like his older brother Kiefer, who headed to the USA for training instead of joining the Draft after his final UAAP playing year in 2015, Ravena yearns to polish the rough edges in his game.
“He’s committed to the national team, but he wants to better himself. He did tell me that he wants to be a major contributor for 2023,” Panlilio said.
“That’s how he’s seeing it – that he wants to develop now so he can be a major contributor 3 years from now.”
Ravena is one of the first 7 players who have committed to the national team pool for the next edition of the World Cup and he could see action in the qualifiers of the FIBA Asia Cup starting in February.
The only caveat, though, is Ravena needs to figure out a way to be available at Gilas Pilipinas’ disposal should he sign with a team abroad.
“Whether he could put a clause in his agreement that when it comes to national team duties for the Philippines, that he be allowed to participate [has yet to be determined],” Panlilio said of Ravena, a three-time Finals MVP who powered Ateneo to 3 straight UAAP championships.
“If he can talk to the ballclub he’ll be signing up with, to include that in his agreement, that everytime we call you, you can join us, he’s willing to do that.”
Other players in the pool are Isaac Go, Mike and Matt Nieto, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and JD Tungcab. – Rappler.com