UAAP 82: Thirdy cements place in Ateneo and UAAP history with third title and third Finals MVP award

Santino Honasan on Nov 20, 2019 09:58 PM
Thirdy cements place in Ateneo and UAAP history
"I think, what happened was I took myself out of my brother's shadow, not just this year, but ever since Coach Tab came in, he already talked to me, and he told me that the biggest pressure shouldn't be trying to be like your brother or your dad, but the biggest pressure should be coming from yourself and trying to be the best player you could possibly be," - Thirdy Ravena (Photo: Arvin Lim)

Ateneo de Manila University captured their third consecutive UAAP Men's Basketball Championship in dominant fashion after defeating University of Santo Tomas, 86-79, in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball Finals, Wednesday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

With the Finals sweep, the Blue Eagles also completed an impressive 16-0 sweep to go undefeated in Season 82, and at the center of it all was Thirdy Ravena. 

"Masarap, masarap hindi dahil nanalo kami," Ravena shared during the post-game press conference." Masarap kasi we won it in a way na we were playing for one another, and it's incredible, yung feeling. Hindi ko ma-describe eh. Pero I just want to thank the entire team." 

"Tinatanong nila paano namin nagawa yung 16-0, yung sagot ko kanina is our strength doesn't lie with one person, with one player or with one coach, it lies in all of us, and it lies in us because we want to play for one another, and we preach servanthood. Kaya kami malakas, kaya gumagana yung system, it's that because we do what we do, not for ourselves, but for our teammates and for the guy beside us on the bench. Sobrang sarap lang ng feeling," Ravena added. 

The graduating star finished with a game-high 17 points along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, following up a 32-point explosion in Game 1. Along with three straight championships, Ravena will also be exiting the UAAP with three-consecutive Finals MVP plums, the most in UAAP Men's Basketball history. 

These accolades will likely cement Ravena's place in the annals of Ateneo history, along with the other great Blue Eagles to come before him. A far cry from how people saw him when he first came into the league, as the younger brother of one such Ateneo great, Kiefer. 

Kiefer, of course, is a two-time UAAP champion and two-time season MVP. 

For Thirdy however, he has long stepped out of the shadow of his older brother, especially under the tutelage of Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin. 

"I think, what happened was I took myself out of my brother's shadow, not just this year, but ever since Coach Tab came in, he already talked to me, and he told me that the biggest pressure shouldn't be trying to be like your brother or your dad, but the biggest pressure should be coming from yourself and trying to be the best player you could possibly be, and with that, I think I've effectively removed myself from my brother's shadow and focused on how I could be the the best player I could possibly be, not just for myself but for my teammates."

Ravena continued that it was never really about who had accomplished more in the collegiate ranks, but rather about simply becoming a better version of himself. 

"For me, it's not even about accomplishments, it's about trying to work at something, and not trying to work to be like someone, and I'm just trying to be the best version of me. That's it," he concluded. 

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