Kiefer Ravena hopeful for brother Thirdy's international career

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2020 07:02 PM

Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena. FIBA

MANILA, Philippines -- After his superb collegiate basketball career, Thirdy Ravena wants to test uncharted territory by playing in Japan.

Ravena, who helped Ateneo de Manila University win three consecutive UAAP championships, has received offers to play in Japan's B.League. If plans push through -- and if the new B.League season starts as expected -- Ravena hopes to be there by August.

His elder brother, Kiefer, knows a thing or two about testing international waters as he tried his luck in the NBA G League -- then the D-League -- after his own UAAP career. Kiefer eventually returned to the Philippines and was selected second overall in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.

"Sinasabi ko sa kanya is, kailangan talaga, at the top of his game siya," Kiefer told ABS-CBN News of the advice that he has been giving to Thirdy.

"Kasi, since international ang lalaruin niya, and technically magiging import siya sa ibang bansa, they will expect import numbers from him, 'di ba?" he said.

Kiefer has no doubt that Thirdy will be ready for the demands of the league, saying that his brother has been preparing well both physically and mentally. However, there are still questions if Thirdy will be able to leave for Japan, given the current global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Sana makalabas siya, 'di ba?" Kiefer said. "Hindi naman lahat ng tao nakakapaglaro doon internationally, sa ibang liga."

"So hopefully he can make an impact and make a difference sa team na lalaruan niya," he added.

In the meantime, the Ravena brothers are doing their part to help flatten the curve in the Philippines. They have been taking part in fundraisers and are streaming their workouts to encourage their fans to stay in shape and healthy while the enhanced community quarantine is in place.

Kiefer also has plans to livestream a game of one-on-one between him and Thirdy, after his younger brother told Beau Belga on "Extra Rice" that he has been winning their duels recently.

"Dati, noong magka-height kami, mas ano pa siya, kasi ginugulangan niya ako. Hanggang ngayon grabe manggulang 'yun, simula bata pa lang kami," Thirdy said.

"Ngayon, sa tingin ko, siguro mga last two na 1-on-1 namin o mga last 3 na 1-on-1, ako na 'yung nanalo kaya medyo kumpyansa na ako," he added.

Kiefer was quick to back up Thirdy's claim.

"Oo, nananalo naman 'yan sa one-on-one. Laki-laki niya, dapat talunin niya talaga ako," he said. 

"Actually, itong quarantine, doon sa court namin 'di pa nga kami nakakapaglaro ng one-on-one. Ila-live namin 'yun minsan. I-schedule namin 'yun. Para makapag-one-on-one," he added. "Oo, gagawin namin 'yan, tingnan natin. Magpapakundisyon muna ako."

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).