Unlike his more celebrated brother Kiefer Ravena, Ferdinand “Thirdy” Ravena III is a late bloomer in the game of basketball.
At first, he wasn’t serious about playing the game until he was nine years old. This was because he did not get to watch much of his father Bong Ravena’s game until at a much later age.
Sports-loving Ravenas: Bong and Mozzy Ravena with children Kiefer, Danni and Thirdy
“Saling kit siya nuon,” said Thirdy’s mom Mozzy as she recalled the days when her youngest son would be included in basketball teams he wasn’t supposed to join the teams because he wasn’t good enough to play.
Kiefer, on the other hand, learned the basics of basketball as early as four years old, his interest piqued by watching his father play with the Purefoods squad (now known as San Mig) in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Kiefer’s game, according to Mozzy, is best described as “old school” because he followed the moves of the players he watched in the PBA when he was young.
As for Thirdy, it was not until he stepped into high school at Ateneo de Manila that he started showing his interest and love for the sport.
The family even tried to introduce him to other sports, such as baseball, but he did not show any interest.
Thirdy, however, proved that basketball runs in the family, as he is slowly but surely turning out to be one of the more promising basketball players of his generation.
What the statistics show
In fact, Thirdy, who stands at six-foot-two, is expected to join his elder brother Kiefer with the Ateneo Blue Eagles next year.
Volleyball and basketball do mix—Emerging volleyball star Danni, former national volleyball player Mozzy and Ateneo basketball ace Kiefer.
He is currently leading the race for the Most Valuable Player award after the first round of the 76th University Athletic Association of the Philippines junior basketball tournament.
Thirdy has compiled 74.4286 statistical points with his averages of 19 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists, with his teammate Michael Nieto a close second with 73.1667.
Nieto, however, was suspended for unsportsmanlike conduct in the first round, and is no longer eligible for individual awards.
National University’s Mark Dyke and Adamson’s Reinier Quinga had identical 68.5714 SPs for joint third, while La Salle-Zobel’s Renzo Subido (67.8571) and NU’s John Cauilan (67.2) are also in contention for the Mythical Five.
Thirdy’s best game
The 16-year old Ravena, who plays the power forward spot, had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Eaglets, who waylaid the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws on Aug. 17, Saturday, at the Blue Eagle gym in Quezon City.
Wearing the no. 15 jersey, Ravena played one of his best games since July 3, when he went beyond his averages of 19 points and 9.4 rebounds.
Because of Thirdy’s heads-up game, the Blue Eaglets stayed at second spot in the standings on a 6-2 card.
Eaglets new coach Joel Silva is happy with Thirdy’s performance.
“He wanted to involve his teammates, that is why he is playing his best,” added Silva.
Thirdy’s early years
When Thirdy first joined the Blue Eaglets as a freshman, he was hardly given a second look, partly because all the attention was on his older brother Kiefer, who was making waves as a budding superstar.
A year later, with Kiefer on his last playing year as an Eaglet and was averaging 26.7 points a game, Thirdy was allowed to play some playing minutes.
But after his brothe graduated from high school, Thirdy slowly came into his own.
“Nung third year ko na-develop ang shooting ko, since more of hustling ang laro ko. Before I used to to be in defense. Now, I work both sides of the floor,” Thirdy said.
“Ang role ko sa team was as a post-up player. I would post the power forwards up, kasi I had the speed advantage because I do not start out as a power forward. I start out as guard,” he added.
But as a senior this year, Thirdy’s game has developed as he grew taller. He also developed enough skills to be able to switch to the forward position.
Taking advises from his brother Kiefer and his dad after his every game, Thirdy is expected to blossom into an even better player when he goes to college next season.
He (Kiefer) is like my Dad, always giving me advise on what I need to improve on my game,” he said.
Kiefer, whenever he has time, would join Thirdy in extra workouts at their subdivision at the Town and Country Executive Village in Cainta, Rizal.
Another Ravena rising
But aside from Kiefer and Thirdy, there is actually another Ravena who is destined to rise in a sport of her choice.
Danni Ravena, at 13, plays the game of volleyball and she will be playing her first game as a junior for Miriam College, of course, with the entire family watching and rooting for her.
Mozzy, a former national volleyball player herself, said Danni showed interest in learning the game of volleyball after joining a joining a camp.
Mozzy could not help but feel proud that Danni would now be playing for her school in the Women’s Natonal Collegiate Athletic Association volleyball competitions.
Mozzy’s former coach Louie Gepuela is training her Danni to become a middle spiker, the same position that her Mom used to play as a collegiate and national volleyball player.
Sports, indeed, runs in the family. And there’s no better proof in this than the Ravenas, who had embraced sports as a way of life.