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The Philippines’ nine B. League stars will not be able to see action in the most-awaited All-Star Games as the league announced on Thursday, January 6, the cancellation of the festivities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Japan B. League to cancel the All-Star Games – set from January 14 to 15 – for the second straight year following the rise of positive cases among players and the current situation in the Okinawa prefecture.
In the announcement, Japan’s premier basketball league said 27 players and 12 close contacts are expected to miss the All-Star Games, which comprised 44.4% of the selected players.
The All-Star weekend was set to feature all nine Filipino imports in the Japan B. League Asia Rising Star Game, which was set to promote the Asian imports of the league.
The country’s nine imports included in the Asian All-Star lineup are Thirdy Ravena of the San-En NeoPhoenix, brother Kiefer of the Shiga Lakestars, Dwight Ramos of the Toyama Grouses, Kobe Paras of the Niigata Albirex BB, Ray Parks of the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, Javi Gomez de Liaño of the Ibaraki Robots, as well as Division 2 players Juan Gomez de Liaño of the Earthfriends Tokyo Z, and Kemark Cariño of the Aomori Wat’s.
Filipino Matt Aquino, who holds a Japanese passport, joined the Rising Stars lineup composed of local athletes.
The Ravena brothers were set to go against each other in the Skills Challenge, while Paras was set to flash his skills in the dunk contest. Juan, on the other hand, was selected to take part in the three-point contest. – Rappler.com