|UAAP Juniors MVP Thirdy Ravena of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2) UAAP Juniors Most Valuable Player (MVP) Thirdy Ravena is not going anywhere. After starring for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets in high school, the versatile forward has committed to play for the Blue Eagles in the UAAP seniors division.
Thirdy, the younger brother of former Rookie of the Year Kiefer Ravena, made the announcement on his Twitter account.
“It’s official. Finally teammates with Kiefer Ravena for the first time,” Thirdy tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
He also confirmed the news in a text message to ABS-CBNnews.com.
“Like what I said before ‘di ba, why not make my life easier (by playing) with my brother alongside me,” Thirdy said.
In a text message to ABS-CBNnews.com, Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol welcomed the younger Ravena, saying: “Thirdy will be an important part of Ateneo’s campaign this year and the years to come.”
Meanwhile, Kiefer also welcomed his brother into the team, stressing that “there is no need for another sibling rivalry,” in reference to another pair of famous hoops brothers, Jeric and Jeron Teng.
“They made history as rivals. Time to make one our own as teammates,” Kiefer tweeted.
Jeric and Jeron faced off against each other in the UAAP Season 76 Finals, with Jeron coming out on top after the De La Salle Green Archers bested the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in three highly competitive games.
Although he was a star in high school, Thirdy acknowledged that college basketball is “a whole other ball game.”
“Sobrang layo niya sa high school,” he said. “Hopefully, I can contribute to the team. Ang role ko naman is to provide energy along with the second stringers.”
“The first thing that I can provide for the team is energy talaga,” he stressed. “Defense, and whatever the coach asks me to do. I’m a role player.”
He is also looking forward to playing with his older brother, who has starred for the Blue Eagles in the past three years.
“Sobrang magandang feeling kasi may chemistry na po kami sa loob ng court,” Thirdy said when asked about being teammates with Kiefer for the first time. “Alam na po namin ‘yung laro ng isa’t isa.”
“We’ll both try to work hard as a team so that we could hopefully win the championship,” he added.
Thirdy’s commitment to Ateneo is a huge boost to the program after the Blue Eagles saw their five-year reign at the top of the UAAP end in Season 76. He joins a remarkable recruiting class for Ateneo that already includes Clint Doliguez and John Apacible of Hope Christian.
NCAA Juniors Finals MVP Arvin Tolentino, who played for San Beda in high school, has also reportedly committed to Ateneo, while UAAP Finals MVP Hubert Cani of National University has also expressed a strong interest in playing for the Katipunan-based squad.
Thirdy led the Blue Eaglets to a stint in the UAAP Season 76 juniors basketball Finals, where they lost to the Cani-led Bullpups.