<
>

Thirdy Ravena still figuring out what his next steps will be

Thirdy Ravena has already made it clear that his future lies overseas, but the swingman clarified that embarking on an NBA dream isn't in his immediate plans right now.

"I'm not thinking about it right now. I'm just thinking about developing myself as a player first. My main focus is to play internationally and not necessarily in the NBA immediately," he said Monday.

Ravena said his camp is instead mulling existing offers very carefully -- some of which include possible stints in Japan's B.League and Australia's National Basketball League, as well as runs in Italy and New Zealand.

"We're still trying to work things out," he said. "I just want to make sure I'm on the right track because this is a critical stage in my career, especially after college. I think the next five years for me will dictate where I'll be in life. I just have to make sure that for every opportunity, I make the most out of it. If it's there, it's there."

"I think the best way to go about it is to just be prepared all the time, to make sure I do my part, which is to work and develop my craft and try to be as perfect as I can as a player," he added.

The allure of a good contract and a big league will be part of his decision-making, but the three-time UAAP Finals MVP said a major factor will be how he'll fit with a team.

"We're looking at where I can improve as a player and which teams are caring and promising. We have to make sure I could play or fit in a coach's system and whether or not the coach likes me, at least, so I hope I'm able to pick a team where I'm OK with the players and the coach."

Ravena added that they're looking at finding a way to make him available for Gilas Pilipinas stints once he is able to sign with a team.

"Gilas is always a team that I always wanna play for. We're still trying to work things out, whatever decision I make. We'll make sure that I'll be available. We're gonna work it out with the team that I might play in," he explained.

This year is shaping to be a big one for Ravena, who will start off 2020 with two consecutive international stints.

Before starting build-up with Gilas Pilipinas, where he was named to its 24-man pool for the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, he will strut his wares with Mighty Sports in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

Ravena, who is joined by other collegiate standouts in UP's Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano and La Salle's Jamie Malonzo, said he's taking the stint with an import- and veteran-laden Mighty "seriously" in an effort to prove himself.

"Tthere's a lot of experience with all these good players around. You just kinda wanna be a sponge that absorbs everything they're teaching and whatever I see inside the court," he raved.

"It's your chance to show what you have internationally, and it's a chance to represent Mighty Sports as well. It's a great opportunity not just for me but for everyone around the team, especially with the guys trying to create a name and who just got out of UAAP."