Kiefer believes Thirdy's 'lost year' was a blessing in disguise

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 12, 2020 03:10 PM
Kiefer believes Thirdy's 'lost year' a blessing in disguise
Kiefer says Japan-bound Thirdy's leap all began when he was forced to sit out a season due to academic deficiencies

Kiefer Ravena has no doubt that younger brother Thirdy would have been a much-welcome helping hand in his last year in Ateneo de Manila University.

"Hindi ako nagalit sa kanya. More of nalungkot kasi nasayang e," he said in The Prospects Pod where he hosts and where his younger brother was a guest for an episode. "Sayang yung taon and yung chance na makakapaglaro kami together. It was my final year, big thing sana, but Mac Belo happened."

In Kiefer's final season for the Blue Eagles, they were eliminated courtesy of Belo's game-winning tip-in.

Of course, there may have been a different ending there if Thirdy was playing instead of sitting out the season due to academic deficiencies.

From the very moment he found out that he wasn't going to be able to play with his younger brother in Season 78, however, Kiefer had nothing but, well, brotherly love for Thirdy.

Indeed, it was heartbreaking that Kiefer would have to be the lone Ravena in his last year in college, but the heartbreak meatn much, much more for Thirdy.

Years later, the elder Ravena still remembers that fateful night. "May commercial shoot ako nun, kasama ko si mama. On the way there, tumatawag si Thirdy tapos parang naririnig ko na parang umiiyak siya. Sabi ko, 'Bakit kaya umiiyak 'to? Ano kayang nangyari?'" he recalled.

Not long after, it became crystal clear what the call was all about. "Sabi niya, hindi nga raw siya makakalaro next year kasi bumagsak siya. He was really crying and telling mama, 'Ma, I didn't make it. What are we going to do?'" Kiefer narrated.

He then continued, "Reactions lang ni mama nakikita ko so hindi ko pa rin talaga nalaman until pagkahatid sa amin, sinabi ni mama na kailangan niyang umuwi, kailangan niyang umalis kaagad. Ayun, pinuntahan niya si Thirdy and that's when I found out na it was really bad."

From that point, Kiefer said he did nothing but prop up Thirdy, with the former making sure the latter's full focus was on coming back being better.

Without a doubt, that is exactly what the younger Ravena did. "Ngayon naman, kung titignan mo, parang wala ka rin naman palang rason para malungkot kasi nakita mo what happened to his career. Parang blessing in disguise pa," manong said.

He then continued, "Looking back, during that moment, I would say I was a little bit sad, a little bit disappointed, but now, the bigger picture is nakatulong pa sa kanya yung ganun. Bakit ka malulungkot sa progress na ganun?"

For his part, Thirdy said that all throughout that so-called "lost year," the real struggle was getting his mind right. "Actually, it was more mental, yung battle dun sa year na yun. On the physical side, I had so much time to prepare kasi and which I did," he shared.

He then continued, "Pero yun, happy rin naman akong na-overcome ko yung tough mental battle ng year na yun."

For sure, he was able to do just that with much thanks to the full faith his family, his friends, and all his supporters had - and would always have - in him.

Now, Thirdy is Japan-bound and Kiefer said his "lost year" was actually a big step in his journey. "Not everybody when you sit out a year in college, get to improve the way he did and he showed that nung last years ng collegiate career niya," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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