For Thirdy Ravena and Dwight Ramos, playing for flag and country is top priority.
While both have live contracts as Asian imports in the Japan B.League, a stint with Gilas Pilipinas is something that they’ll never pass up.
Fortunately for the two, their respective teams have fully accepted their commitment to play for the Philippine national basketball team.
“For me, when I was negotiating the contract, way before I signed, I already told them that I would want to play for the national team whenever the windows are, the games come up,” stressed Ramos during a guesting at Radyo5’s Power and Play with Noli Eala.
“So, November got canceled — I didn’t go back for that, then we have four games this February — they already knew that was coming and then Gilas called me up, I just answered the call.”
It was a similar case for Ravena.
“Even before we signed the contract, we already talked about the national team. And yun nga, I would want to play lahat ng posibleng window kung may chance,” said Ravena who is currently on the first of a two-year contract with NeoPhoenix.
“Happy nga lang ako kasi sobrang supportive ng NeoPhoenix sa decision ko and they actually wanted me to go. So laking pasasalamat ko for a supportive club like them. And ngayong nandito na po kami, I am very excited to represent the country naman po.”
With Chot Reyes now calling the shots, the duo will have to adapt to his dribble-drive system – something that is totally different from the one being run by Tab Baldwin.
“It’s difficult within our preparation time and our lack of players at the moment. It’s gonna be a hard job, but of course, you just got to set high expectations to yourselves. And that’s what I’m hoping to do with the team,” said Ramos.
“It’s gonna be tough, but no excuse, we’re here and we’re going to play at home. Kailangang mag-take pride kami sa mga ganoong bagay. And hopefully, makakuha po tayo ng mga panalo in the window,” added Ravena.