Like most Filipino basketball fans, the Serbian tactician must’ve had high expectations from the two athletic swingmen.
The FIBA World Cup is fast-approaching, and it’s interesting to know how Gilas Pilipinas is doing as it ramps up the preparations.
One of the most experienced tacticians in former Gilas coach Rajko Toroman provided some insight as he gave his opinions on the country’s current basketball program. Guesting on the program Power and Play on Saturday, the 68-year-old drillmaster touched on several topics, including players who he thinks should make the final lineup for FIBA’s flagship event, like Dwight Ramos and Ray Parks Jr.
There's that other side of the fence, though, as Toroman couldn’t help but express disappointment in a couple of young hoopers who have donned the Gilas blue-and-white: Thirdy Ravena and Kobe Paras.
“I think Thirdy Ravena is not developing the way everybody is expecting,” Toroman told host and former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.
“He’s still playing in Japan but he’s not dominating there.”
To be fair, the 26-year-old swingman has showed out in the Japan B.League on multiple occasions while suiting up for San-En NeoPhoenix. His regular season averages of 11.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 steals are quite decent as well.
Still, the OG Gilas coach isn’t wrong to say that Ravena hasn’t been dominant.
The veteran strategist has also been following Paras, who is already out of the Japan B.League after parting ways with Altiri Chiba back in March.
“Also [Kobe] Paras is struggling,” Toroman stated with what seems to be a tone of regret.
The former UP Fighting Maroon averaged 5.3 points and 1 assist for his club, which was playing in the second division of the Japanese pro league. Paras, as the signs show, did not live up to the hype.
The hope now is that Ravena and Paras would take Coach Rajko’s criticisms in stride, and use them as fuel to prove him wrong.