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Thirdy hopes to crack Gilas roster

/ 05:36 AM February 17, 2019

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

As if being in the pool wasn’t already an achievement in itself, Thirdy Ravena will be flying to Qatar with the National team that is hoping to crack a berth in this year’s World Cup in China.

“You can’t help but be overwhelmed sometimes,” he told reporters Friday morning during the Nationals’ only scrimmage before plunging into two crucial games in the Asian qualifiers this week.

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Can’t blame him if he entertains thoughts of making the squad.

“Hopefully,” said the 22-year-old Ravena. “Right now, I’m just thinking of being prepared for anything.”

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Ravena, the only nonprofessional cager in the pool, joins a cast of PBA champions, tested veteran internationalists and former NBA player Andray Blatche in the Philippines’ bid to go perfect on this road trip.

“Supposedly, there’s no longer pressure since I was already able to represent the country a few times, and I’ve already dealt with pressure in the UAAP—which I think is kind of the same,” he said. “But it’s hard not to be consumed by it.”

The Nationals departed Saturday morning for Doha, where naturalized big man Blatche rejoins them and rounds out the cast of 14.

Ravena has represented the Philippines in the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships in Bangkok in 2013 and in the Jones Cup in Taiwan last year.

But making the final Gilas roster in the matches against Qatar or Kazakhstan could be Ravena’s biggest national team milestone.

Guiao previously noted that the Ateneo star has a “realistic chance” of making the final cut for the sixth window.

“Right now, my focus is solely to be prepared to be able to become the best version of myself,” Ravena said.

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TAGS: FIBA, Gilas Pilipinas, Thirdy Ravena
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