Thirdy debuts in Japan, makes instant impact for Neophoenix

Published November 7, 2020, 9:08 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Screenshot from Japan B.League’s Youtube channel

Thirdy Ravena made a good impression in his Japanese basketball debut that saw San-En Neophoenix outlast the Susanoo Shimane Magic, 83-82, Saturday at the Yonago Industrial Gymnasium.

Ravena had 13 points, two rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes as the Neophoenix won for just the second time through 11 games in Japan’s B.League season.

The former Ateneo star downplayed his solid outing after playing his first competitive game since late-February for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

He underwent a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon his arrival from Manila last Oct. 15 before finally joining the Neophoenix training sessions.

“As you can see, I still need a lot to improve on, especially my conditioning. I’m really tired,” said Ravena in a postgame interview of the game that was aired at home through the B.League’s official YouTube channel.

Serbian coach Branislav Vicentic inserted Ravena into the starting lineup and responded by scoring his first point on a free throw followed by a two-handed dunk.

Ravena also made eight points in the fourth quarter that saw the Neophoenix take an 81-74 lead.

San-En, however, allowed Shimane to score eight unanswered points to take the lead in the final seconds.

But Hayato Kawashima was fouled with three seconds left and made two free throws to bring San-En back in front before the Neophoenix’s defense prevented the Magic from attempting a game-winning shot.