UAAP 82: Thirdy Ravena accomplishes mission of graduating a winner
Santino Honasan on Nov 20, 2019 10:04 PM
"The best way to exit is by giving it all you have and winning a championship, so yun lang, ang sarap ng feeling," - Thirdy Ravena (Photo: Arvin Lim)
At the start of UAAP Season 82, graduating star Thirdy Ravena simply wanted to give his all for the Ateneo community and give them a third-consecutive UAAP Men's Basketball championship.
Ravena and the rest of the Blue Eagles were able to do that, and more, completing a sweep of the elimination round and then dispatching UST in the finals in two games to indeed give the Ateneo community a three-peat. Quite the final ride for Ravena and the rest of his fellow seniors.
For the 22-year old, the fact this was the conclusion of his five-year collegiate career had already settled in, even before the Finals series began.
"Nag-sink in siya nung nanalo kami nung last eliminations game namin, na-feel ko na grabe, it's been five years, and we're down to the last two or three games, and the best way to exit is by giving it all you have and winning a championship, so yun lang, ang sarap ng feeling," Ravena shared post-game.
For the three-time Finals MVP, while a season sweep may look like it was a cake-walk for the reigning three-time kings of UAAP Men's Basketball, it really wasn't as smooth as it appeared to be.
"Definitely not easy. It wasn't perfect, it wasn't smooth, we had a lot of rough roads that we encountered, and the best part about it is that everyone was willing to their part for one another, to make the team better."
Along with Ravena, the Blue Eagles will also be bidding goodbye to a number of key players in Mike and Matt Nieto, Isaac Go, and Adrian Wong, which will make up a big chunk of the team's championship core in each of the last three seasons.
Ravena is confident however, that the remaining Blue Eagles, as well as the ones that will fill their spots in the team, will do just fine.
"I think for me, ang importante is not the players eh, it's the culture. It's about how we play, and we play for one another, and as long as it's there, it doesn't matter," Ravena shared. "We've been preaching "The Next Man Up" for the last four years, and whoever steps in our spot, alam namin na gagawin nila yung pinaka-makakaya nila para sa mga teammates nila, so I'm very optimistic about it."
With his mission in Ateneo now complete, Ravena will likely be a sought-after prospect in the professional ranks, but he's yet to make a decision about his future and declaring for the PBA draft.
"Magse-celebrate muna kami ngayon, then bahala na yung decision natin after, kasi ito talaga yung pinaka-focus namin eh," Ravena explained. "We had 16 days na talagang mental focus kami dun sa task at hand, and I wasn't trying to think about anything else, 'cause that could be considered as distractions, pag iniisip mo yung hindi naman nangyayari pa."
"Inuna muna namin yung UAAP, and we're gonna make a decision, I just need to talk to my family and people," he concluded.