Japan B. League

HIGHLIGHTS: Filipino players at Japan B. League – October 2, 2021

JR Isaga
HIGHLIGHTS: Filipino players at Japan B. League – October 2, 2021
Philippine basketball stalwarts Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks, Kobe Paras, and Juan Gomez de Liaño are ready to roll and kick off their respective Japan B. League campaigns

Five of the eight Filipino imports in the Japan B. League are set for their respective debuts on Saturday, October 2, in the first of many back-to-back slates for the league.

Although Gilas Pilipinas stalwarts Dwight Ramos, Javi Gomez de Liaño, and Kemark Cariño will be unavailable for at least two weeks due to local quarantine guidelines, their other five compatriots are ready to roll, barring any last-minute setbacks.

Here is the star-studded list of Pinoys hoping to make a big splash in the country’s growing overseas campaign.

Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena | San-en NeoPhoenix vs Shiga Lakestars

Kiefer Ravena got the last laugh over his younger brother Thirdy in his Japan B. League debut as the Shiga Lakestars mounted a 22-point comeback for a 93-83 stunner at home over the San-en NeoPhoenix.

Kiefer finished with 11 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals with no turnovers off the bench, while Thirdy also got 11 markers, albeit on a 4-of-14 clip, to go with 6 boards and 2 steals.

Read the full story here.

Preview

The B. League surely didn’t waste time in giving its new Pinoy fans what they want: a sibling rivalry showdown between the San-en NeoPhoenix’s pioneer import Thirdy Ravena and his older brother Kiefer of the Shiga Lakestars.

Despite the hype the NeoPhoenix got last season, they finished as one of the worst teams in the league with a 12-47 record and missed Thirdy’s services quite often due to a handful of injuries and even a bout with COVID-19.

Shiga, meanwhile, floated near the middle at 13th place with a 23-36 record and is likewise nowhere near title contention.

Both teams are hoping for better campaigns this time around as they pit their prized imports against each other at 4:05 pm.

Kobe Paras | Niigata Albirex BB vs Kyoto Hannaryz

Kobe Paras and the Niigata Albirex BB started their Japan B. League campaign on the wrong foot as they fell to the Kyoto Hannaryz, 85-81, on Saturday, October 2 at the City Hall Plaza Aore Nagaoka.

The high-flying Filipino basketball star Paras waxed hot for Niigata and finished with a team-high 25 points on a very efficient 8-of-15 shooting, along with 4 assists in the losing effort.

Paras and the rest of the Albirex BB will look to bounce back against the same opponents in the second game of their back-to-back schedule on Sunday, October 3.

Read the full story here.

Preview

After his budding UAAP career got cut unceremoniously no thanks to the pandemic, Kobe Paras has since set his sights onto bigger things with Niigata Albirex BB.

Like the University of the Philippines back in college, Niigata is hoping Paras can raise its ceiling after tallying a 16-38 record last season, good for 17th in the 20-team league.

They will be starting their season on Saturday at 1:05 pm against a Kyoto side that didn’t fare much better, as the Hannaryz finished with a 21-36 slate at 15th place.

Bobby Ray Parks Jr. | Nagoya Diamond Dolphins vs Sun Rockers Shibuya

Ray Parks Jr. didn’t get to see action in his highly anticipated Japan B. League debut for the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins as he suffered a muscle injury.

Read the full story here.

Preview

One of the Philippines’ most talented stars in their prime right now aside from Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is continuing his pro basketball journey with the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.

After posting a winning 32-24 record last season at ninth place, Nagoya is almost guaranteed the same, or even more success with Parks’ arrival in their midst.

Now all that is left is for the former PBA superstar to prove himself on foreign soil as the Dolphins take on fellow powerhouse Sun Rockers Shibuya at 5:05 pm.

Juan Gomez de Liaño | Earthfriends Tokyo Z vs Kagawa Five Arrows

Juan Gomez de Liaño and the Earthfriends Tokyo Z dropped their season opener to the Kagawa Five Arrows, 89-82, in the Japan B. League Division 2 on Saturday, October 2 at the Temple Municipal Gymnasium.

Gomez de Liaño, the former UP Fighting Maroon and Gilas Pilipinas sensation, had a quiet debut for the Earthfriends, finishing with only 2 points on 1-of-3 shooting, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers in just 3 minutes and 33 seconds of action.

The Earthfriends and the Five Arrows will meet again on Sunday, October 3 at 1 pm, Manila time.

Preview

The Earthfriends Tokyo Z may just have struck gold in their Division 2 campaign as they snagged up Juan Gomez de Liaño, one of the Philippines’ brightest prospects who can very well play against the best even in Division 1.

After a somewhat underwhelming end to his collegiate career alongside Paras in UP due to lingering injuries, Gomez de Liaño is likely raring for a grand reintroduction under the bright lights of Japan’s capital city.

The Earthfriends can finally see if their investment was well worth it as they tip-off against the Kagawa Five Arrows at 5 pm.

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GAME SCHEDULE: Filipino basketball players in Japan B. League

GAME SCHEDULE: Filipino basketball players in Japan B. League

– Rappler.com