San-En disciplines Thirdy Ravena, suspends him for Mikawa doubleheader

Thirdy Ravena has been suspended for the NeoPhoenix's homestand against the Seahorses. B.League (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--San-En will not be fielding in Filipino star Thirdy Ravena for its next two games after the team suspended him following his post-game antics against Toyama.

Ravena was seen breaking a sponsor board at the Toyama City Gymnasium in frustration after botching clutch moments that would have stolen the win for the NeoPhoenix on the road against fellow Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Dwight Ramos and the Grouses.

Ramos and teammate Joshua Smith, who previously played for TNT in the PBA, where Ravena's father Bong is a longtime member of the coaching staff, comforted Ravena after the game which Toyama won, 90-89.

But the San-En team management believes it is something uncalled for. Thus, they suspended Ravena for two games, which is basically its upcoming weekend homestand against Mikawa on Dec. 4-5, and slapped a JPY100,000 (a shade under PHP44,000) fine.

"It is unforgivable as a professional player that Thirdy Ravena hit the Toyama Grouses official partner board and partially damaged it after the match on Sunday. As a GM, I would like to sincerely apologize not only to the fans and partners who love the San-en NeoPhoenix but also to the Toyama Grouses and all those who love the B.League. Based on this, we will inform the staff and players that it is an important role as a professional not to make fans and partners sad," NeoPhoenix team manager Hideki Higashi said in a statement on Wednesday.

He then asked the six-foot-three swingman "to look back on what a professional is, and to be a representative player of the B.League and to instruct him to act with a firm mind on a regular basis."

Meanwhile, Ravena personally apologized for the incident, saying, "To the NeoPhoenix boosters, sponsors, management, my teammates and coaches, especially the Toyama Grouses organization, sponsors, everyone involved, I deeply apologize that something like this happened. With the series of losses and personal bad games, I let my emotions get the best of me. And the chance of actually winning a game, but losing it because of me was just too much at that point. Again, I apologize to everyone."

The B.League is currently on a two-week break to give way to Japan's preparations for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Japan is hosting China for back-to-back games in the November window in Sendai.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno