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OKINAWA, Japan – After years of mediocrity, Thirdy Ravena’s pro team finally flourishes in the Japan B. League.
In his fourth season in the top-flight division, San-En NeoPhoenix impressively sustained their strong start and now share the top spot with Alvark Tokyo with a 25-4 record.
The pioneering Asian import is also authoring his best season yet, putting up a career-high 13.3 points on 51.5% shooting, along with 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists, as his contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
It has been a remarkable turnaround, with Ravena coming extremely far from winning just 10 games with San-En in his sophomore season.
“Honestly, I feel like this has been the best season for me, because the system that we’re running has been drawing my strengths,” Ravena told Rappler in a media availability during the Japan B. League All-Stars.
“At the same time, we see the changes that we have made and the reason why we are winning, so both experiences for me are good as an individual,” he added.
The NeoPhoenix’s success came in their second year under Japanese mentor Atsushi Ono, who himself was a former player.
Ravena pointed out the changes in his team, including running a five-out offense, where all players are outside the three-point line to stretch the defenders.
With his team rolling, Ravena said he also used his past failures to be a better version of himself.
“It allows me to actually factor out which things are good, which things are bad, in terms of my habits in the game or off the court, eventually helping the team with games as well,” he said.
“It’s a great experience for me, it’s been a long time coming, I wish it would just continue.” — Rappler.com