Thirdy Ravena joins Gilas Pilipinas practice
Thirdy Ravena, the Philippine national team pool’s 15th man, attended his first practice on Thursday night at Meralco Gym.
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao on Wednesday was still unsure whether Ravena would be allowed by Ateneo and its coach Tab Baldwin to join Gilas training.
The multititled PBA mentor also explained why Gilas decided to wait before announcing Ravena’s inclusion in the pool.
“The player that we’re not sure if he’s going to show up tomorrow (Thursday) is Thirdy, our 15th man. We did not release his name right away because we had to go through a process of asking permission first from Ateneo and from coach Tab.
Guiao had reportedly said that Ravena, one of the best collegiate players today, could make his Gilas debut in the sixth and final window of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers as a replacement for either of the two injured players in Troy Rosario and Raymond Almazan.
Rosario is still recovering from a deformed nose while Almazan is sidelined with an ankle injury.
“The problem is not if they’re going to make it to the game on time, it’s if they can catchup and still get substantial practice and have regular practice with us for at least two weeks. So that’s the problem,” Guiao said Wednesday night.
“Because if the problem is if they’re to be available by February 21, it’s likely that they will be available but are they going to be ready? So that is the situation.”
Gilas, which is in survival mode after going 1-3 in its last four games in the qualifiers, goes on the road to face Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan four days later to cap off its World Cup bid.
The 22-year-old Ravena is coming off a spectacular UAAP season last month after leading Ateneo to its second straight championship.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.