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Thirdy Ravena dribbles his way to UAAP Finals’ MVP

Thirdy Ravena: Firstly, a dedicated baller keen on improving his game at all costs.

Carving out his own name under the shadow of a popular father and a popular older brother would have been hard for UAAP Season 80 Finals’ MVP Thirdy Ravena had it not been for their unwavering support.

“Thirdy is the one who inherited the athletic build of my dad,” Kiefer told me a year or two ago. “He has great athletic potential,” he added.

A few years back, during his birthday, Thirdy joined fellow Blue Eagle Aaron Black and other athletes in a special basketball skills and performance enhancement clinic held by US experts in the country. I was surprised that he decided to spend his birthday there, but he emphatically said, “I wouldn’t dare miss this opportunity.”

Humble and passionate, Thirdy is a dedicated baller keen on improving his game at all costs. Happily, it paid off not only with a championship but also the Finals MVP trophy that eluded Kiefer in his UAAP career. 

While Kiefer won championships with Ateneo in Seasons 74 and 75, he did not get the Finals’ MVP award. He was the MVP though in his final two seasons.

With Kiefer’s prodding, Thirdy was in attack mode at all times during Season 80, particularly the championship games. He was obviously tired at times, even bloody in game three, but he was playing with all his heart and might, endearing himself to the battalion of Ateneo fans.

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After congratulating him the day after game three, we asked him a few questions.

PHILIPPINE STAR: Everyone has noticed how you have muscled up, how has this improved your game?

THIRDY RAVENA: It was a big factor for me, because bulking up allowed me to focus more on what I had to do in order to help the team. Before, I also had to worry about getting hit and pushed around before actually doing my job.  

How often do you work out in the gym? What type of workout routine do you have?

I make sure that I get to gym at least four to five times a week during pre-season and at least thrice during the season. Before the season, we did hypertrophy training, then just maintenance during the season.   

Have you “fixed” the tightness on one side of your body? Did the added flexibility power up your game?

Yes and yes. With the everyday help of our PT, Louise Gopez, I’m able to make sure that my muscles aren’t tight and are always ready to go. Also, it helped me power up my game, because it allowed me to be explosive with a full range of motion which is more efficient.

Who was the greatest influence in your transformation leading to this championship and the Finals’ MVP award?

It’s probably the whole coaching staff of the Blue Eagles and especially our trainer, coach Andrei Tolentino. They trusted me that I would be able to make that change, even though it wouldn’t be easy, so that I would be more efficient inside the court.   

Can you cite three of the best traits of your current Ateneo basketball team that led to the championship?

Servanthood, discipline, and trust.  

What is your most important learning from coach Tab?

Well, I guess with coach Tab, it’s pretty hard for me to figure it out because every day there’s just something you pick up from what he’s saying or learn from him. But if I were to pick the most significant one, it’s probably when he told me that “the only pressure that I should feel is the pressure that I place on myself to be the best player I could possibly be.” 

What‘s next for Thirdy Ravena?

Hopefully, another championship.

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Post me at mylene@goldsgym.com.ph or  mylenedayrit@gmail.com.

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