Thirdy Ravena signs extension with San-En in Japan B.League

Published May 10, 2021, 5:41 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from San-En

It will be year two for Thirdy Ravena with the San-en NeoPhoenix.

The NeoPhoenix announced Monday, May 10, that Ravena has signed a player contract with the team for the 2021-22 season of Japan B.League.

“Ravena is a contract player in the Asian special frame established from the 2020-21 season. This contract is for multiple years,” wrote San-En on its website. “We look forward to your continued support for Sadie (Thirdy) next season!”

San-en also announced the development through its social media channels.

The 24-year-old Ravena, for his part, welcomed the signing in two separate posts.

“We got unfinished business, (NeoPhoenix),” wrote the former Ateneo star on Twitter as he enters #Year2 with San-En.

Ravena’s Japan stint was marred after contracting COVID-19 early in the season and suffering two injuries — a fractured finger in January and a knee injury in April.

In his final game for the 2020-21 season, the three-time UAAP champion had to sit out in their 80-75 road loss against the Shinshu Brave Warriors on May 5.

Though he was in uniform, coach Branislav Vicentic opted to keep Ravena on the bench due to his injured left knee as the NeoPhoenix finished their campaign with a 12-47 record.

Still, Ravena, a three-time UAAP Finals Most Valuable Player, expressed gratitude to the San-en management for the trust and support since competing in the Japan B. League.

“It was indeed a tough time for me last season, having to miss a lot of games and not being able to help the team as much as I want,” read a translated version of Ravena’s statement. “Despite that, it was all love from the NeoPhoenix club and boosters, which was why it was not hard for me to make this decision. I’m excited for the next coming years with this club.”

Meanwhile, Kenjiro Hongo, President and CEO of San-en, is expecting “further growth” for Ravena’s basketball career, especially after adapting the life in Japan not only as a visitor but also as a professional player.

General manager Hideki Higashi lauded Ravena’s aggressive plays and expressed confidence that it will be helpful for San-en in the seasons to come.

“San-en NeoPhoenix, along with Sadie (Thirdy), will impress not only the people of his home country but also the Filipinos living in the San-en area, and will aim to become a champion with him,” said Higashi.

With a multi-year contract, Ravena is on the road to redemption not only for himself but also for the NeoPhoenix and the Philippines.