Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) made the assurance that Thirdy Ravena remains committed to playing for the Philippine national men’s basketball team, also known as Gilas Pilipinas, even after he joined the Japanese basketball team San-En NeoPhoenix.
SBP president Al Panlilio said that Ravena has always expressed his willingness to play with the national team.
“He assured us that playing for Gilas is a top priority for him and we’re hopeful that the San-En NeoPhoenix will make him available for the FIBA windows,” Panlilio said in a statement.
The Japan Professional Basketball League (B.League) announced that Ravena signed with the San-En NeoPhoenix as part of the league’s Asian player quotas system.
B.League implemented the new competition system for the 2020-2021 season to enhance competitive abilities by matching with various Asian players in daily games and to expand business in the Asian market.
“B.League has engaged communication with foreign countries to promote internationalization since the first season in 2016. We are very pleased to welcome Ravena to B.League for the first year of Asian Player Quotas,” the league said in a press release.
SBP congratulated Ravena for being the first ever Asian import to sign with B.League and hopes that he will find success playing in Japan.
Panlilio said that playing in Japan will provide the 23-year old Filipino basketball star with an opportunity to expand his horizons and learn more about the game at an international level.
“This is his chance to grow as a basketball player and everything that he learns in Japan will be beneficial for Gilas as well,” said the SBP official.
Panlilio expects that the three-time UAAP men’s basketball tournament champion and Finals Most Valuable Player will represent the Philippines well with his talent and sportsmanship in the B.League.