Thirdy Ravena excited to see Kiefer back on the basketball court
Santino Honasan on Aug 23, 2019 03:16 PM
"Masaya. Ang gaan nung pakiramdam na finally, makita siyang naglalaro," - Thirdy Ravena on older brother Kiefer
With Kiefer Ravena's 18-month suspension from basketball competition set to be lifted on August 24th, the Filipino hoops star's fans and supporters are all in eager anticipation to see their idol back on the hardwood once again.
Eighteen months is, after all, a very long time.
More than the fans, the supporters, his teammates in NLEX and on Gilas Pilipinas however, the most excited to see 'The Phenom' finally back on the floor are the ones closest to him, which of course includes his younger brother Thirdy.
"I’ve been excited," the younger Ravena told ABS-CBN Sports. Thirdy is set to embark on his final year in uniform for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the 82nd season of the UAAP.
"500 days of waiting has been really long, and it’s been a struggle, not just for him but for us also, as a family, to see him down and see him face a battle na, even I can’t imagine myself facing. It’s tough, especially seeing someone you love go through that and right now, I just can’t be any happier for him na tapos na yung sanction niya, and he’ll be able to play the game that he loves, and more especially na he gets to play again, for the family and just for himself," he added.
Kiefer was handed a lengthy suspension by FIBA back in 2018 after testing positive for a banned substance, and that suspension kept him from all basketball activities, including with his NLEX club team in the PBA.
The suspension basically took away Kiefer's livelihood a year an a half, which surely isn't an easy thing to digest from someone who has lived and breathed basketball his whole life.
For Thirdy, knowing that the suspension and all the trials and challenges that came with it will soon be in the past is nothing short of a relief.
"I know that guy has gone through a lot, just the psychological aspect is already tough, just with the things that he’s faced in his lifetime, at a very young age, and I’m just happy na, kumbaga nakawala na ulit siya, nakawala na ulit siya sa preso, parang ganun yung feeling," he said with a laught.
"Masaya. Ang gaan nung pakiramdam na finally, makita siyang naglalaro," Thirdy added.
With basketball being taken away, Kiefer's refuge became his family, and as Thirdy shared, it was crucial for the Ravena family to be there for 'Manong' during the challenging times.
"We were not really trying to do anything special, in a sense, nothing too big, but just the fact na we really tried to be there, every single time na kailangan niya kami would help him, kasi nga it’s hard to gauge how he’s feeling, kasi there are days na nami-miss na niya talaga yung basketball noon, and it’s so hard kasi ako, I haven’t been in that particular position, and neither has anyone else in the family, so, we just tried to be there for every moment na kailangan niya kami."
"We just tried to bond as a family and make sure na we’re gonna be there from rock bottom to cloud nine, expressing our support for him was the best thing that we could do."
Kiefer returned to basketball activities back in June 24th, re-joining the National Team for the first time since his suspension. He participated in his first practice back with NLEX the following day. His first official game back will presumably be with Gilas in the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, which begins on August 31st.
For Thirdy, for the Ravena family, and for his fans and supporters, that day can't come soon enough.