"I'm just sad that he's leaving," said TNT Tropang Giga coach Bong Ravena confirming that Thirdy Ravena is set to leave on Thursday for his professional basketball debut in Japan to participate in the 2020-21 Japan B.League West Conference.

/ 15 October 2020

The Ravena family on Tuesday confirmed Thirdy’s flight to Japan after several weeks of visa issues were resolved by the Japanese embassy.

Ravena was supposed to leave for Toyohashi last July, but he could only apply for a visa in early October.

Thirdy completed his paperwork with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Monday, going through the same processes an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) takes before being allowed to leave the country. The 23-year-old’s flight details were also just confirmed on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Ravena also took a swab test on Tuesday and will expect the results in 48 hours before he leaves for Japan.

The arrival of the Filipino import is set to provide additional firepower to the floundering San-En NeoPhoenix who dropped to the bottom of the standing, 0-4, in the B.League.

The 23-year-old Ateneo product has missed four games, with San-En dropping all four against Chiba and Mikawa, with a combined losing margin of 104 points.

The 6-foot-2 swingman, who was signed as an Asian import for the team as the first player under the league’s new Asian Player Quota rule introduced this season, will see action as a shooting guard instead of his small forward position in Ateneo.

It will take a while before Ravena can play as he will have to undergo a 14-day mandated quarantine upon his arrival.

But, Ravena assured that he will make it in time for San-En’s back-to-back showdown against Toyama.