Photo from FIBA

Thirdy Ravena will take part in Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign for the Group A window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers later this month at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio confirmed Ravena’s participation in the qualifiers, making him the second player in Japan’s B.League to join the Gilas pool for the games against South Korea, India and New Zealand.

Ravena later posted a photo on social media of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside the Ateneo campus where Gilas will resume its FIBA preparations after spending time last week at Mount Malarayat in Lipa City, Batangas.

Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said Ravena arrived Tuesday, Feb. 8 from Japan and was allowed to join practice the following day since passengers from foreign countries no longer have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period.

The new measures enabled fellow B.League cager Dwight Ramos, playing for the Toyama Grouses, to join the training bubble in Malarayat upon arriving over the weekend.

Also making the Gilas stint possible was the current B.League break due to the World Cup Qualifiers. Ravena’s contract with the San-En Neophoenix has a clause which allows him to represent the country during the FIBA windows when needed.

Ravena is averaging 12.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals in 29 games in the B.League, but the Neophoenix have fallen to the league’s worst record at 4-27 after eight straight defeats.

His Gilas inclusion came a day after coach Chot Reyes hinted of possible additions for the window slated Feb. 24 to 28 at the Big Dome.

Reyes will have a mix of players from the Gilas pool and a few from his TNT Tropang Giga squad for the qualifiers in order to speed up the process of building cohesion.

Ravena, Ramos. naturalized player Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Juan Gomez de Liano, Tzaddy Rangel and Jaydee Tungcab are among the Gilas pool members who are part of the preparations for the FIBA tourney.

Reyes hinted that RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram are shoo-ins from the TNT squad, with the possibility of adding pesky guard Kib Montalbo to the list.

Source: Manila Bulletin (