UAAP Finals MVP Thirdy's inspirations? Kiefer, Asistio, late best friend
Danine Cruz on Dec 05, 2018 09:45 PM
Thirdy Ravena had the name of his late friend Javi Villareal written on his arm during Game 2.
Thirdy Ravena missed out on getting an individual award in UAAP Season 81 after the elimination round due to a suspension slapped on him during the first round of the eliminations.
But Ravena just brushed it aside and just set his eyes on getting the back-to-back championship.
In the process, he eventually bagged an individual honor -- the Finals MVP.
His efforts were celebrated moments after the back-to-back championship as the whole sea of blue chanted "MVP! MVP!" for him while he was awarded.
Still, sticking true to the Blue Eagle rhetoric, Ravena thinks the award is just a bonus.
"[The Finals MVP] is not better than winning a championship. Super happy with my team, everyone is celebrating, I didn't expect any award coming in to this season, I just wanted to give it my all. Individual accolades, it just come naturally just as long as you submit yourself to the system," said Ravena.
In the eventual last game of the season, Ravena hit a career-high of 38 points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals. He had an average of 29.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 2.5 steals in the best-of-three Finals series.
"I didn’t really expect to score, it just came na pumapasok yung binibigay sa akin ng teammates ko. If it wasn't for Matt, yung mga pasa nila sa akin, 'di rin naman magiging posible yung nangyari. I just wanna thank all of my teammates," he said after also tying his older brother Kiefer's career-high.
Ravena was running on a lot of inspiration this Finals series - matching Kiefer's championship rings, going for the back-to-back championship, giving senior Anton Asistio a good exit.
But one of story he will always hold dear to him is winning it for his late best friend, Javi Villareal.
During Game 2, Ravena wrote Javi's name across his arm as sort of a reminder to enjoy the moment.
"The night before the Finals Game 1, napanaginipan ko si Javi. I won't tell the whole dream, but what hapened is I just saw him in the corner amongst a lot of people and I saw him smiling and he was just really laughing. When I looked at him again, wala na siya and when I woke up umiiyak ako eh," he said.
"Umiiyak talaga ako nun pero I took it as a message from Javi na kasi I haven't dreamt about him in the longest time, naisip ko lang na nagparamdam siya at enjoyin ko ang game, just smile kasi we worked hard for this opportunity so yun just enjoy lang," Ravena shared.
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