‘Thirdy is the complete package’

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    RAVENA: Things can only get better.

    ONE will not get several offers to play overseas if he does not have what it takes, right?

    San-En NeoPhoenix coach Branislav Vićentić had nothing but praises for Thirdy Ravena and is convinced his squad’s import in the Japan B. League is a complete player.

    “He’s (a) highly energetic guy, he’s very skilled. He had a good skills coach before me, a good basketball coach before me, so he can play back to the basket, he’s vertical, he is very athletic, good shot,” Vićentić said on Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s Power and Play program hosted by former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.

    “So, he’s (the) full package,” he added.

    Vićentić, 49, said the former Ateneo star wingman’s game suits well with San-En NeoPhoenix.

    “I like up-tempo playing basketball, I like a lot of offenses, a lot of defenses. I don’t want to play this low possession basketball,” the Serbian strategist said.

    “I think it’s kind of basketball that will fit professionally for Thirdy Ravena.”

    The 6-foot-2 Ravena opted not to join last year’s PBA Draft despite being projected as likely the top pick overall and instead was signed as the first Filipino and Asian to suit as an import under the league’s Asian quotas initiative last June.

    The youngest son of former PBA player and current TNT coach Bong and former volleyball star Mozzy, Ravena also received offers to suit up in Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.

    Ravena, 23, arrived in Japan last month and had to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

    Vićentić said Ravena could only get better, which should be good for San-En NeoPhoenix, which currently has a 2-13 card.

    “Nobody’s career is going straight up. Everybody struggles a little bit, from time to time.

    So, that’s why we are here to help him and every single player in our team. The level of things that I’m asking from my players is high. So, there are a lot of tactical things that I want my players to do. Right now, he’s adjusting on those demands, let’s call it like that. But his potential is great,” he said.