Thirdy Ravena shrugs off his eye injury in the second half.
And it’s this fighting spirit that led to him still suiting up in the second half of the Philippines’ 95-80 loss to Lebanon to start its 2022 Fiba Asia Cup campaign on Wednesday.
“Thirdy said that he was ok. He was willing to give it a try,” shared Coach Chot Reyes on the rationale to still field Ravena in the second half.
Ravena suffered a freak fall at the 1:15 mark of the second quarter when he attempted to go for the block on Wael Arakji’s layup. He crashed face first on the court and was left bleeding from the right eyebrow that led to him being wheeled out of the court just before the first half ended.
Kiefer on brother Thirdy Ravena injury
It was a scary sight for everyone to see, even more for his brother Kiefer.
“Before the start of the game, we’re teammates and our brotherhood is set aside, but sometimes you get carried away especially with what happened. It was really scary,” he said.
“He didn’t just fall down, it was really scary. It was his head, so we had to take care of concussions and everything else that follows. He said that he wanted to throw up on the court when he fell down so I was really worried.”
But one good thing about this Gilas squad, Kiefer said, is that they got each other’s backs and that concern for Thirdy isn’t just limited to him but it goes for everyone wearing those national tri-colors.
“Thirdy had 11 other brothers [on the team], so everybody was just as worried as I am,” Kiefer stated.
Fortunately, Thirdy was fine as he patched the gash up and came back after the halftime break, got some shots up, and saw action in the second half, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds, and two assists for the Philippines.
“He tried, he warmed up at halftime, and we said ok, let’s give it a go,” said Reyes.
Kiefer, on the other hand, is the least surprised.
“Then again knowing him, I wasn’t surprised that he came back. Coach knows when and when not to put him in,” he said.
The more important games, however, are still to come. Moreover, Kiefer reminded Thirdy that this is not a sprint but rather a marathon as Gilas turns its attention to India on Friday.
“This is a tournament and we have another game and he’s a very important part of this team. Just like everybody else, we have our roles and we can’t afford to lose anybody here in the team,” the team captain said. “Hopefully he gets better. We’ll see his progress throughout the night and tomorrow and I’m sure he’ll be ready to play versus India.”