Japan B. League

Dwight Ramos admits PH basketball instability led to Japan B. League signing

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Dwight Ramos admits PH basketball instability led to Japan B. League signing

JAPAN-BOUND. Dwight Ramos still plans to suit up for the national team.

Dwight Ramos' Instagram page

‘I was just looking at what’s the best place for me right now to improve, and I think it’s in Japan for now,’ says Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Dwight Ramos

Dwight Ramos, one of the Philippines’ brightest young prospects who came over from the United States, is once again leaving home to play for the Toyama Grouses of the Japanese B. League, following the footsteps of many other compatriots before him.

The 23-year-old hotshot guard, who led the young Gilas Pilipinas squad in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, admitted that the instability in the local sports scene caused by the worsening COVID-19 crisis ultimately led him to look for playing opportunities overseas.

“I was thinking about how unstable basketball kind of is in the Philippines right now, so I had to look for another option where I could keep playing in,” he told former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on Power and Play.

“I just think that the basketball scene in Japan is a little more stable right now, compared to the Philippines and the PBA. It’s really hard here. You never know when you can practice, or play games. So I think that going to Japan right now is more stable for me.”

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Dwight Ramos spreads his wings, signs with Toyama in Japan B. League

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When asked about dealing with his PBA eligibility under the controversial “draft dodger” rule, Ramos admitted that it was not really a part of his decision-making process related to the B. League.

“I was just looking at what’s the best place for me right now to improve, and I think it’s in Japan for now,” he said.

“But of course, I always wanted to play in the PBA. Just like the locals in Japan, they want to stay in Japan, I think the same goes for us Filipinos. We’re just hoping that the opportunity comes again when we’re all done with our stints overseas, and we can come back to play in the PBA.”

By turning pro, the 6-foot-4 Ramos made the difficult decision of forfeiting his remaining collegiate eligibility with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, which meant that he won’t be able to play with his brother Eli in an official UAAP tournament.

“I talked to the coaches, my agent, and a lot of people in Ateneo. I just let them know the situation, what I was thinking, and they sort of gave me their advice and tips on what they thought I should do,” he said.

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A lot of people within the Eagles’ camp understandably wanted to keep a talent of Ramos’ caliber in their midst, but ultimately, Ateneo and Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin only requested his continued commitment to the national team before he left.

“Coach Tab just wanted to make sure that I’m still committed, and that my heart is there,” Ramos said. “Of course, without Gilas, none of these opportunities would have come to me.”

”As long as I’m playing basketball, I want to play for the national team, and wear the Philippine colors again.”

As is the case with all other Filipinos honing their craft on foreign soil like the B. Leaguers, Kai Sotto in Australia, and Jack Animam in Serbia, Ramos simply took an opportunity when he saw it, but his heart still knows where home is. – Rappler.com