IS IT a singular honor? Is it worthy of recognition? Is it reason enough for a national celebration?
Perhaps, Thirdy Ravena’s recent acrobatic shot is all of the above.
Anytime, it’s a singular honor for him to be drafted to play in a basketball league in Japan. How many Filipinos can ever achieve that feat in the near future?
It is worthy of recognition because his latest achievement is an icebreaker. Meaning, by barging into the Japanese league, Thirdy has opened doors for his countrymen.
Suddenly, it isn’t just the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for those young UAAP and NCAA aspirants to dream about. Japan, here we come!
And, yes, that calls for a national celebration. Anytime, Thirdy playing as an import in Japan is a big deal worth saluting.
Look at it this way: Each time he’s dispatched by his Japanese coach to enter the hardcourt, he plays as a Filipino bridging dreams for future Filipino generations.
Here’s a trailblazing kid, who, with his skills and talent, had skipped a surefire life of ease, fame and fortune in the PBA in exchange for a bold plunge to an unknown territory.
But one good thing about Thirdy’s stunning move is, he went through the process, like getting permission from PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial before embarking on his Japanese mission.
“I don’t have a problem with his move because he asked for our permission,” Marcial told the Inquirer’s Cedelf P. Tupas.
Thirdy, a three-time Finals MVP in Ateneo’s “three-peat” act last year, has been given a two-year leave of absence by the PBA after bypassing the Draft last year.
Thirdy’s contract with Japan’s San-en NeoPhoenix will see him play for one season in the Japanese B. League in Shizuoka two hours away from Tokyo.
In a sense, too, Thirdy, only 23, playing in Japan would essentially eliminate a sibling rivalry in the PBA between him and Kiefer, who has resumed his star-potential modality with NLEX after serving out his suspension for doping.
Bong, the brothers’ father who was a former PBA player himself, is presently head coach of TNT KaTropa.
In this family, wonders never cease.