Thirdy, San-En fall short anew

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    THIRDY Ravena made up for a so-so game last Saturday against defending champion Alvark Tokyo but could not prevent San-En NeoPhoenix from losing anew yesterday.

    Ravena shrugged off a sprained left ankle and scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds but San-En NeoPhoenix still dropped a lopsided 65-88 loss to Alvark Tokyo in the Japan B. League at the Arena Tachikawa Tachihi.

    The 6-foot-2 Ravena was held to only four markers, to go with three boards and three assists in San-En NeoPhoenix’s 76-94 defeat to the same opponent last Saturday.

    Ravena, a former Ateneo star wingman, hurt his left ankle after stepping on the foot of former San Miguel Beer import Kevin Jones in a rebound battle at the 5:26 mark of the second quarter.

    He returned in the second half and tried to help San-En NeoPhoenix recover but Alvark Tokyo was simply too good.

    The setback was San-En NeoPhoenix’s fourth straight that sent it to 2-13, while Alvark Tokyo improved to 10-5.

    San-En NeoPhoenix takes a two-week rest and returns to action on the road against Shimane Susanoo Magic on Dec. 2 at Matsue City General Gymnasium.

    Ravena only arrived in “The Land of the Rising Sun” last month but he had to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine and the long respite should help him jive more with his teammates.

    He was set to leave the Philippines last July, but he failed to get a Japanese visa on time due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

    Ravena, 23, led the Blue Eagles to the crown in the last three years where he bagged the finals MVP award in each season.

    A Gilas Pilipinas national team training pool member, Ravena chose 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 got offers to suit up in Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.