UAAP 81 Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena just proved how special he is

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 07, 2018 07:53 AM
Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena just proved how special he is
Thirdy Ravena turned in the best game of his young career in Ateneo's title-clinching win

The knock on Thirdy Ravena was that he is not a shooter.

According to statistics, in his first three seasons for Ateneo de Manila University, he shot 10-of-52 from threes.

In the biggest game of the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament for the Blue Eagles last Wednesday, however, Ravena showed just about everybody how far his shooting has come.

The fourth-year forward launched eight long-range missiles and all but three hit the mark – making up a big chunk of his career-high 38 points in his team’s title-clinching win.

In fact, there was a point in the final frame when he hit three triples in three and a half minutes. “There was just a stretch in the game na parang bigla silang nag-zone tapos binibigay nila yung three-points and swerte lang na pumumapasok yung sa akin,” the eventual Finals MVP said.

In the eyes of head coach Tab Baldwin, that career-best scoring output, alongside six rebounds, six assists, and three steals, as well as endless energy and effort throughout, were a reminder of Ravena’s tantalizing talent. “I just think Thirdy had a real special game. He made great shots, he made great decisions, and he proved what a special player he can be,” he shared.

He then continued, “Congratulations to him. I think his awards are well-earned.”

More than the career game and the Finals MVP, however, the Ateneo mentor said that he’s certain Ravena knows what matters most. As he put it, “I know Thirdy well and I know that his joy right now is for the championship, for the team, and it's one of the things that makes him and every other guy in the team special.”

Indeed, the now two-time champion deflected all credit to his teammates. “My mission was to give everything that I can. I didn’t really expect to score and it just came na pumapasok yung binibigay sa akin ng teammates ko,” he said.

He then continued, “If it wasn’t for Matt [Nieto] and my other teammates, ‘di rin naman magiging posible yung nangyari.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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