MANILA, Philippines – Thirdy Ravena refused to leave Gilas Pilipinas with one man down.
Ravena showed he has his teammates’ back as he finished their 95-80 loss to Lebanon in the FIBA Asia Cup on Wednesday, July 13, despite suffering a nasty fall.
Blood immediately gushed out of Ravena’s right eyebrow after he fell face first following a block attempt on Wael Arakji with less than two minutes left in the first half.
The Japan B. League star appeared done for the night as he needed to be wheeled out of the court.
But Ravena came back in the second half and chalked up 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in more than 23 minutes of action.
Considering that the national team already activated its reserve player Rhenz Abando as a replacement for injured star Dwight Ramos, Ravena said he felt the need to play on.
“We’re only 12 players here. I did not want to let my team down and have them play with only 11 players,” Ravena said in a mix of Filipino and English. “I just did everything I could. I fought.”
“Just like what we always mention, for the country.”
Despite his successful return, Ravena still hopes he did not sustain a major injury, knowing full well that the adrenaline rush might have masked the pain from his fall.
“Luckily, it was not too bad. I’m still focused on what we have in front of us,” Ravena said.
“I’ll just pray to the Lord that this is not serious.”
While losing to the Lebanese is not the way Ravena and the Filipinos intended to open the Asia Cup, the defeat still provided silver linings ahead of their clash against India on Friday, July 15.
“Positive is we can actually play well together. We just have to execute, we just have to trust each other a little bit more,” Ravena said. – Rappler.com