NO visa, no flight for former “King Eagle” Thirdy Ravena.
Ready and raring to show his wares overseas, Ravena’s keenly-awaited stint in “The Land of the Rising Sun” hit a snag after he failed to get a Japanese visa in time for San-en NeoPhoenix’s opening matches in the Japan B. League.
Ravena, who was signed up as an import by the squad last June, missed the team’s first two games against the powerhouse Chiba Jets.
Without Ravena, San-en NeoPhoenix absorbed a 65-83 beating from the Chiba Jets last Saturday and was playing the same opponent last night.
“We’re fixing my visa now and as soon as matapos iyon, aalis na agad ako,” Ravena was quoted as saying by online sports website spin.ph.
“Waiting na lang kami now,” he added.
The 6-foot-2 Ravena started working on his visa last Oct. 1 after the Japanese embassy closed from March to August due to the health perils posed by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the office opened anew last Sept. 1, diplomats and those applying for permanent residence were prioritized.
The high-flying Ravena was supposedly set to go to Japan last July.
Once he secures his Japanese visa and flies to Toyohashi City, Ravena will also be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, which is part of the Japan Health Declaration Form mandated by the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
The former Ateneo star wingman can only join the squad after the mandatory quarantine period ends.
The first Filipino and Asian to suit up under the league’s Asian quotas initiative,
Ravena led the Blue Eagles to the last three UAAP titles where he was named finals MVP in each season.
Ravena skipped last year’s pro league draft despite being projected as likely the top pick overall.
The youngest son of former pro Bong and former volleyball star Mozzy, Ravena also got offers to bring his acts to Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.