MANILA, Philippines – From one Gilas Pilipinas brother to another. Literally.
Thirdy Ravena received sound advice from older brother and national team mainstay Kiefer as he seeks to crack a spot in the squad's final lineup for the last window of the World Cup qualifiers.
"To not do anything different," Thirdy said when asked by reporters what Kiefer told him after being named a member of Yeng Guiao's pool for the sixth window.
"Kasi kinuha ka nila diyan with a specific role in mind, you don't need to try and do other things just so you could show to the coaches or prove to the coaches na kaya mo gawin 'yun."
(They brought you there with a specific role in mind, you don't need to try and do other things just so you could show or prove to the coaches that you can do those things.)
Kiefer played in all 4 games of the qualifiers' first two windows last year before he was suspended by FIBA after testing positive for banned substances.
But that didn't prevent him from imparting his knowledge to Thirdy, who at 22 years old is the youngest and the only amateur in the bunch.
"Whatever role it is, kung gusto naman ng coach 'yung ginagawa mo, mala-lineup ka talaga so just stick to what you can do and just do it well," said Thirdy, explaining Kiefer's advice.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles standout aims to be more than just a pool player.
"It's a challenge for me to try and make the lineup kasi nandoon na rin ako and I want to be able to pay back doon sa trust ni coach Yeng by playing really hard," he said.
(It's a challenge for me to try and make the lineup because I'm already there and I want to be able to pay back coach Yeng's trust by playing hard.)
"Whatever role he gives me, I just want be able to do that with the best of my abilities. If ever 'di man ako ma-lineup, I'll just be there still to support the team."
(Whatever role he gives me, I just want to be able to do that with the best of my abilities. If ever I don't make the lineup, I'll just be there still to support the team.)
Thirdy has a high chance of making the final 12-man lineup against Qatar as Guiao and his staff will choose from only 13 players with RR Pogoy still finishing his five-game FIBA suspension.
The Filipinos, who flew to Doha on Saturday, February 16, have less than a week for their final preparations before they clash against the Qataris on February 21. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.