'Unfinished business': Thirdy Ravena to stay with San-En

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2021 05:12 PM | Updated as of May 10 2021 09:02 PM

'Unfinished business': Thirdy Ravena to stay with San-En 1
Thirdy Ravena will stay with San-En NeoPhoenix. B.LEAGUE photo

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Thirdy Ravena has signed a contract extension with the San-En NeoPhoenix that will run for "multiple years," the team announced on Monday.

Ravena played just 18 games for San-En in his first season, where he was hobbled by injuries and tested positive for COVID-19.

But he will get a chance to show what he is truly capable of after signing a contract until the 2022 season of Japan's B.League.

"Phoenix, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has signed Thirdy Ravena to a player contract for the 2021-22 season. Mr. Ravena is under contract for the 2020-21 season under Asian Player Quotas. This contract is for multiple years," the team announced.

On Twitter, Ravena said he has "unfinished business" with the team. The former Ateneo star averaged just 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.6 for San-En, and the team managed just a 12-47 win-loss record.

Kenjiro Hongo, president of San-en NeoPhoenix, acknowledged that the team's results in Ravena's first year were "not satisfactory," but they are hopeful for a better outcome in the upcoming season.

"He (Ravena) has adapted well to life in Japan and as a professional player. We have high expectations for his further development," Hongo said. "With Ravena at the center of the team, we will build a new culture and strive to become champions, so please continue to support us."

Hideki Higashi, general manager of the NeoPhoenix, was impressed with Ravena even in his limited appearances for the club.

"His aggressive play is something that no one else can imitate. I am confident that he will tear apart the opposing team with his aggressive play and continue to score goals to lead his team to victory," he said.

They also look forward to strengthening their ties to the Filipino community in San-En through Ravena, Higashi said.

"Together with Thirdy, San-En Neophoenix will aim to become a champion and inspire not only the people of their home country, but also the Filipino people living in the SanEn region," he said.

Ravena, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the NeoPhoenix management and welcomed the challenge of turning their fortunes around in the coming season.

"It was indeed a tough time for me last season, having to miss a lot of games and not being able to help the team as much as I want," said Ravena. "But despite that, it was all love from the Neophoenix club and boosters; which was why it wasn't hard for me to make this decision."

"I'm excited for the next coming years with this club," he added.

Ravena, 24, was the first player signed to the B.League through its Asian Special Quota system last season. 

He missed San-En's first 12 games of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and only made his debut on November 7 against Shimane Susanoo Magic. Ravena was solid in his first game, putting up 13 points, three rebounds, and two assists in an 83-82 victory.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on November 28 and returned in mid-December. Unfortunately for Ravena, he suffered a fractured finger in a game against Shibuya on January 2, and had to undergo surgery. He wouldn't return to the team until late March. 

Shortly after his return, Ravena tweaked his left knee, and sat out the rest of the B.League season.

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