Thirdy staying in Japan in 'coming years' after re-upping with NeoPhoenix

Thirdy Ravena has signed a multi-year deal to remain with San-En NeoPhoenix in the Japanese B.League, the two parties announced Monday.

"I just want to thank the NeoPhoenix organization for the trust and support they've given ever since I got here. It was indeed a tough time for me last season, having to miss a lot of games and not being able to help the team as much as I want," said Ravena in a statement.

"But despite that, it was all love from the NeoPhoenix club and boosters which was why it wasn't hard for me to make this decision. I'm excited for the next coming years with this club," he continued.

Asked to confirm that the new deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, would run for multiple years, Ravena answered in the affirmative.

Ravena was unable to maximize his time on-court due to numerous issues that arose throughout his maiden season, including a lengthy visa application, a bout with COVID-19, a fractured right index finger, and a sore left knee.

He only managed to play in 18 out 59 games for San-En, putting up averages of 9.1 points on 36 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 22.8 minutes of play.

The team finished with a lackluster 12-47 record, only good for ninth in the West District.

Nonetheless, NeoPhoenix ownership still set big expectations for the 24-year-old in their renewed partnership.

"Although the results were not satisfactory, he has adapted well to life in Japan and as a professional player. We have high expectations for his further development. With Ravena at the center of the team, we will build a new culture and strive to become champions," expressed team president Kenjiro Hongo.

"His aggressive play is something that no one else can imitate. I am confident that he will tear apart the opposing team to lead his team to victory," mentioned general manager Hideki Higashi, for his part.

"Together with Thirdy, San-En NeoPhoenix will aim to become a champion and inspire not only the people of their home country, but also the Filipino people living in the San-En region," he continued.

The former Ateneo Blue Eagle made history in 2020 when he became the first-ever Asian Quota Import in the fledgling professional league.