MANILA, Philippines – Thirdy Ravena sparked a Twitter debate after the Japan B. League clubs crushed their PBA counterparts in the East Asia Super League Champions Week.
PBA teams San Miguel and TNT started their campaigns on a sour note as they lost by a combined 61 points to the Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Utsunomiya Brex, respectively.
Reigning B. League champion Utsunomiya dealt the Tropang Giga a 99-66 beating on Wednesday, March 1, while Ryukyu – reinforced by Filipino star Carl Tamayo – coasted to a 96-68 rout of the Beermen the next day.
“And they thought playing here was easy,” Ravena, the first Filipino import to chart the B. League path, wrote on Twitter.
San Miguel veteran Chris Ross took offense at the remarks of the San-En NeoPhoenix star.
The Beermen led early against the Golden Kings before they sputtered away after prized big man June Mar Fajardo exited midway through the first quarter with a knee injury.
“No need to bring anyone down. You have no clue what’s going on over here bro chill,” Ross replied to Ravena.
Replying to another tweet by St. Benilde Blazers head coach Charles Tiu, Ross argued that there was no uproar when San Miguel reached the semifinals of the EASL Terrific 12 in 2019.
He added that while the Japanese teams have been together with their imports since the start of the B. League season in September, San Miguel has played with Cameron Clark for a month and Jessie Govan for only a week.
“We finished top four in the last EASL and we didn’t hear anything about winning and stuff then,” Ross said.
Ravena, though, clarified that he was not taking a jab at the PBA teams, noting that his father Bong is with TNT as an assistant coach, and said that he was only responding to people who criticize him and his brother Kiefer.
“I’m not even throwing shade at the PBA. That tweet is for all the Filipino basketball fans who discredit and hate on some of us for being out here, especially me and my bro,” Ravena said.
The chances of the Beermen and the Tropang Giga vying for the EASL crown are bleak as only the top teams from each of the two groups will advance to the finals. – Rappler.com
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