MANILA, Philippines – As Thirdy Ravena made history with his move to Japan, his older brother Kiefer reminded him the grind only starts from there.
Thirdy became the first Filipino to sign under the "Asian Player Quotas" of the B.League as he is set to suit up for the San-en NeoPhoenix with the task of helping the struggling team turn its fortunes around.
"He has been planning that for a long time, at least he will be able to execute it," Kiefer said of Thirdy playing in Japan.
"So hopefully, he continues to work hard and always think that not because he is there, he has already attained his goal. He must remember that he is an import there so his team will be expecting a lot."
Kiefer is not new to pursuing an overseas career.
Before he decided to join the PBA, where NLEX nabbed him as the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, Kiefer served as a developmental player for the Texas Legends in the G League in hopes of realizing his NBA dream.
Although his NBA plans did not pan out, Kiefer picked up lessons from his experiences abroad that could help Thirdy once he lives in Japan. (READ: Japan-bound Thirdy Ravena on blazing new trail: 'Follow your heart')
"We have different paths. The advices I told him are more about off the court – living alone, doing everything by yourself, not having someone to cook for you when you are hungry," Kiefer said.
"I told him that he should be ready for things like that."
With Thirdy proving that an overseas career is also a viable option for Filipino players, Kiefer said he is proud of his younger brother.
"As long as people continue to try, the youth continue to try and work hard, you will never know that doors will open for them," Kiefer said.
"Hopefully Thirdy becomes a model for everybody to achieve their dreams." – 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.