Thirdy Ravena blazes own trail toward UAAP greatness
MANILA, Philippines—Thirdy Ravena went from being the younger brother to arguably one of the greatest Ateneo players of his generation.
The Blue Eagles superstar etched his name as the league’s only three-time Finals MVP after he led Ateneo to a sweep of University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball Finals – doing it as his own man.
Ravena, a one-time high school MVP, carried much hype heading into his first year as a Blue Eagle but his rookie season was largely forgettable, playing under the shadow of his older brother Kiefer.
And it wasn’t until Tab Baldwin’s arrival that Ravena learned to play his game and realize his potential.
“I think what happened was I took myself out of my brother’s shadow, not just this year but ever since coach Tab (Baldwin) came in,” said Ravena after Ateneo’s 86-79 victory over the Growling Tigers in Game 2 Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 22-year-old Ravena said it was Baldwin, who pushed him to blaze his own trail and not be pressured to follow in the footsteps of his brother and dad, Bong Ravena, who was also a basketball star.
“He (Baldwin) said that the biggest pressure shouldn’t be trying to be like my brother or my dad but it should be being myself and being the best player that I can be,” said Ravena, who had 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
“With that I effectively removed myself from my brother’s shadow and focus on how I could be the best player I could possibly be, not just for myself but for my teammates.”
Playing true to form, Ravena averaged 24.5 points on 55 percent shooting from the field, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the finals.
“For me, it’s not even about accomplishments. It’s about trying to work for something and not trying to be like someone,” said Ravena. “I’m just trying to be the best version of me.”
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