Thirdy Ravena shrugs off scary fall to help undermanned Gilas Pilipinas
MANILA, Philippines — Shrugging off a hard fall, Thirdy Ravena managed to return and help Gilas Pilipinas despite a losing effort against Lebanon in their 2022 Fiba Asia Cup campaign opener.
Ravena, who fell face-first in a scary moment in the second quarter, said he didn’t want to let the team down especially with Gilas already missing a number of key figures.
“I really feel that I don’t want to let my team down to 11 (men). So I did my best and kept on fighting for our country,” said Ravena in Filipino after absorbing a 95-80 defeat to Lebanon on Wednesday evening at Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“It’s very important (for me to play) because we’re the only ones left. Dwight (Ramos) wasn’t able to play, Rhenz (Abando) was our only reserve.”
The 6-foot-3 guard fell awkwardly after attempting to block Wael Arakji’s lay-up with 1:15 remaining in the first half. His right eyebrow was bleeding and got wheeled out of the court.
But Ravena refused to leave his teammates and played with his wound patched up in the second half, tallying 10 points, five rebounds, and two assists for the Philippines.
“I was just playing aggressive defense, a little too aggressive. But it ended up to an accident,” said the former Ateneo star, admitting he can still feel the adrenaline rush during the interview. “Luckily, it wasn’t too bad. I still focused on what we had in front of us. I just made sure to recover quickly.”
Though he is still under concussion observation and is unsure if he can play against India on Friday, the 25-year-old does not regret shrugging off his injury just to fight for the country.
“After this, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. The adrenaline is still here, so I don’t know how bad the injury actually is,” Ravena said. “I just did for this country. Thank you to all the Filipinos watching her and our supporters. I’m sorry we lost.”
For the San-En import in Japan B.League, they will learn from their first Group D defeat and play better, moving forward in the Asia Cup.
“We can actually play well together. We just have to execute it, we just have to trust each other a little bit more. Improve our individual defense; we got beat a lot of times one-on-one, and just fight. The importance of being proactive was shown in this game,” Ravena said. “We can’t be reactive. We have to be aggressive. So that’s a lesson that we have to learn really quick, we have two days.”