MANILA, Philippines – Who's Javi V?
Some wondered why Ateneo star Thirdy Ravena had the name written on his left arm during Game 2 of the UAAP Finals between the Blue Eagles and the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.
Ravena said he just had to dedicate the game to Javi Villareal after he dreamt of his late friend before the historic "Battle of Katipunan."
"I dreamt of him the night before Game 1 and I woke up and I was crying," said the UAAP Season 81 Finals MVP who erupted for 38 points to help the Blue Eagles cop back-to-back titles.
"What hapened is I just saw him in the corner amongst a lot of people and I saw him smiling and he was just really laughing and when I looked at him again, wala na siya (he was gone)."
Villareal was Ravena's best friend who passed away in 2017 after falling off a condominium building in Taft Avenue.
"Javi reminded me to just enjoy the game. I’m pretty sure I had the best game of my life – that series – because I was just having fun, that was the best part – having fun and playing with my team."
On the day he dreamt of his late best friend, the Blue Eagle stalwart flirted with a triple-double as he recorded 21 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
Ravena wound up averaging 29.5 points in two games to power the Blue Eagles to a sweep of the Maroons in the best-of-three title series.
Last season, Ravena dedicated countless games to Villareal and inscribed his friend's name on his game shoes. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.