Widely recognized as a pioneer for the Filipinos to run their trade in Japan, Thurdy Ravenna says he is grateful that he opened the door.
“I thought I was going to help someone and that eventually led to the whole thing where people actually think about Japan. [whenever they are] I’m thinking of becoming a professional, “he said at a B-League final watching party at Bonifacio Global City’s Titan Fort on Saturday.
Ravenna, a swingman outside the famous Atenio Blue Eagles program, was the first Filipino player to be imported two years ago by a B-League club under the Asian player quota system.
Since then, the young, top flight crew has followed the same path: Big Brother and NLX playmaker Kifer, former TNT two-way star Ray Parks Jr., Glass standout Dwight Ramos, UP stallworth Kobe Paras, Xavi and Juan Gomez de Liano, and San Beda. Big man Kemark Carino.
“It’s a wonderful feeling. Hopefully, there are many more who will come to look like Japan. The court, as well, is very nice, so I’m excited. [about] The next generation, ”said little Ravenna.
The destination of choice
The wait, it seems, doesn’t have to be this long. Earlier this week, La Salle double star Justin Baltzer signed a contract with a Japanese team. Ricky Rivero, who is running a championship with the Fighting Maroons, is considering multiple offers abroad, including one that will send him to Rising Sun Land.
Japan’s B-League has become a destination for both new talent and young professionals at the varsity level because of the large salaries there.
Ravenna averaged 11.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals for Sun-N Neophenics, missing just a few games this season, which was already a huge improvement from his first tenure with the club.
To make things even better, Ravenna said, all these colleagues are around Filipinos.
“[T]Hats inspire you to improve your game and especially when you are playing against them, you face a little more challenges.
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