Thirdy Ravena explains side to PBA after signing multi-year extension with Japanese ballclub

Published May 12, 2021, 4:56 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Thirdy Ravena (Photo from San-En NeoPhoenix

Thirdy Ravena sent a letter to the PBA a day after the issue surrounding the league’s “draft dodger” rule resurfaced when he signed a multi-year extension with the San-en Neophoenix of Japan’s B.League.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed receiving the letter which contains an explanation of Ravena’s desire to remain with the Neophoenix following a maiden campaign marred by injuries and a COVID-19 infection.

“Sumulat sa akin si Thirdy at ang sinabi niya na nag-renew siya ng contract sa Japan,” Marcial said. “Sinabi din niya na siya masyadong nakalaro dahil may COVID, may injury siya at madami pa siyang dapat iimprove sa game niya,” Marcial said.

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

Marcial also said that he congratulated Ravena on his new deal and wished him “all the best” but refrained from making further comments.

The PBA currently has a rule which bans players who skip the draft two years in a row upon eligibility came out after Ravena opted to try his luck overseas upon the conclusion of his UAAP career with Ateneo in 2019.

Marcial explained in Feb. 2020 that the rule approved by the PBA Board of Governors two years earlier was made to prevent eligible rookies from picking teams.

Ravena was limited to just 18 games with averages of 9.1 points on 36-percent shooting with 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 22.7 minutes during the regular season that saw San-en finish near the bottom of the standings with a 12-47 record.

But Ravena missed the first 12 games of the season due to visa and quarantine requirements and was sidelined for two weeks between late-November and early-December after testing positive for the coronavirus.

A fractured right finger in early-January prompted Ravena to miss 22 games and failed to see action in the final five matches of the season after hurting his left knee last month.