Thirdy expresses respect for PBA amid 'draft dodger' issue | Inquirer Sports

Thirdy expresses respect for PBA amid ‘draft dodger’ issue

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 09:41 PM May 14, 2021
Thirdy Ravena sanen neophoenix

Thirdy Ravena playing for NeoPhoenix in the Japanese B.League. Photo from San-En NeoPhoenix’s website

MANILA, Philippines—Thirdy Ravena’s decision to stay in the B.League with San-En raised some issues regarding his eligibility to be drafted into the PBA in the future.

The PBA has an existing “draft dodgers” rule that would ban rookie prospects from entering the league two years after they last played in college.


Ravena, after signing his extension with the NeoPhoenix, will be in Japan for the foreseeable future but the former Ateneo star has since aired his side with the PBA after sending a letter to the league explaining his situation.


“The message was short, it was a simple letter just to make sure I comply with what they were asking,” said Ravena in an interview with Inquirer. “The PBA is still the number one professional league in the PBA and I respect it so much.”

Ravena is the first Filipino to play in the B.League after signing with San-En in 2020 following a stellar collegiate career that saw him win three UAAP titles with as many Finals MVPs.

His stay in Japan, though, has been a struggle on and off the court after he got injured in January of 2021 and contracted COVID-19 in November 2020.

His sickness and injury left him sidelined but he was still a do-it-all wingman for the NeoPhoenix with 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 22.8 minutes across 18 games.

“I told the PBA that I will play in the B.League, play with NeoPhoenix in the B.League and that I hope for their continued support in my journey of representing and trying to make Philippine basketball proud,” said Ravena.


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