MANILA, Philippines – In the heated debate on who's the "better Ravena," Kiefer admits that the title now goes to his newly crowned two-peat UAAP champion and two-time Finals MVP younger brother Thirdy.
"He got two Finals MVPs, two championships. He's going for a third one just so he can say he can beat me. I'm pretty sure that's his biggest motivation right now," said Kiefer, who never got to watch his brother play live this season due to his FIBA suspension.
But one thing that Kiefer didn't want to give up is his career-high 38 points, which Thirdy matched off a 13-of-18 clip from the field as Ateneo demolished the University of the Philippines in Game 2 to capture the Season 81 crown.
"I was praying na ilabas na siya noong naka-38 na siya. Pati ba naman iyon kukunin niya pa sa akin, 'di ba? Nakadalawang championship na nga, dalawang MVP pa. 'Yung 38 na lang saving grace ko eh," Kiefer said in jest.
"Okay lang na masabing pantay. Noong nilabas na siya, natuwa pa ako kaysa noong nag-champion sila."
(I was praying that he gets subbed when he reached 38 points. I was thinking, 'will he also surpass my career-high?' He already got two championships and two MVPs. The 38 point-game was my only saving grace. It's okay that he matched my record. I was happier when he was subbed out than when Ateneo won the championship.)
Thirdy matched his brother's back-to-back UAAP title romp in 2011 and 2012.
Even though the younger Ravena didn't get to match Kiefer's two MVP awards, he has two Finals MVP trophies to show.
"I expected something from him in the Finals," said Kiefer. "You didn't give good numbers [in the elimination round] and that's what people expect you to do, so you better perform during the Finals."
As Thirdy has one more UAAP playing year left, he actually has a chance to eclipse his brother's hardware count.
"Not to put any pressure on him, but that boy loves the stage, loves to be in the Finals," added the older Ravena, who's set to return to action with the NLEX Road Warriors when his FIBA suspension ends mid-2019.
"For now, siguro na hindi ako naglalaro, bigay muna natin [ang 'better Ravena' title] sa kanya."
(Let's give the 'better Ravena' title to him, for now, since I'm not playing basketball yet.) – Rappler.com
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.