(UPDATE) GILAS Pilipinas pool member Thirdy Ravena knows he's got a 50-50 chance of making the final 12 for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. But that uncertainty won't stop him from rendering his service to the national team and make the necessary sacrifices.
The 26-year-old Ravena could have been taking a break from basketball since the close of the Japan B.League season recently, where the former Ateneo standout concluded his third season with the San-en NeoPhoenix.
But with the Philippines co-hosting the FIBA World Cup this August, Ravena admitted he wouldn't want to let this once-in-a-lifetime chance pass without answering the call to play for the Philippines.
“When the national team calls, even if this is the only time for me to spend it for my family, I don't think I'll ever turn it (opportunity) down because I love our country. That's the highest honor in basketball for me,” Ravena told One Sports' Carlo Pamintuan.
Thirdy, the younger brother of Kiefer, shared that since becoming the first Filipino player to be enlisted as import in the B.League through the San-En NeoPhoenix back in 2020, he has carried along that mindset of representing the country with pride.
“I guess it's really for the bigger picture. [It's] for the greater purpose, it's about honor, it's about being able to not just represent myself but the country anywhere I am playing,” he said, who recently inked a fresh pact that would assure his return to the NeoPhoenix for the 2023-2024 B.League season.
“Even though I wasn't yet part of Gilas, just to be in Japan as the only Filipino [back in 2020], it kind of feels like I was already representing the country,” he added.
With the FIBA World Cup slated late this August, Ravena vows to give his all in practice and through the scheduled tune-up matches and simply hope for the best.
“The World Cup is in the Philippines, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event. But now that I'm in good shape, I would say, to play in the World Cup, even if I have a slim chance of making it, I will take it,” Ravena stressed.
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