MANILA, Philippines – NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena wants to play in Japan after all.
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) announced in a hastily organized press Saturday morning that it had given the Road Warriors playmaker permission to play in the Land of the Rising Sun for one year.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said the league’s Ravenna can dress up for their B. League club, Shiga Lakestars, as soon as the Philippine Cup is over.
Marcial also said that he has spoken with Ravena, who assured him that he will return to the Road Warriors once his one-year stint with the Japanese team is over.
“We understand Kiefer’s pursuit of personal development and desire to showcase the Philippine basketball brand abroad in preparation for the Shiga Lakestars,” said NLEX Assistant Vice President Ronald Dulatre, reading the team’s official statement.
“We gave Kiefer our conditional support to fulfill his dreams of playing abroad. But, as we mentioned earlier, we had to do a deliberate review of their contract before a release could be issued. “
Ravenna’s clearance comes on the heels of the conditional release of Ray Parks Jr. by TNT on Friday. The two-way guard, who led Tropang Giga to the final last year, is also heading to Japan.
Ravenna is ready to join her younger brother, Thirdy, in the B.League.
The NLEX star is now the sixth Filipino player associated with a Japanese ball club, joining standouts from the University of the Philippines and brothers Juan and Javi Gome de Liaño and San Beda ace Kemark Carîno.
All six have been adapted for Gilas Pilipinas in different capacities.
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