Japanese basketball

Kiefer Ravena joins brother Thirdy in Japan B. League

Kiefer Ravena joins brother Thirdy in Japan B. League

IMPORT. Kiefer Ravena takes his talents to Japan.

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PBA star Kiefer Ravena signs with the Shiga Lakestars for the 2021-2022 season of the Japan B. League

PBA star Kiefer Ravena heads to Japan to join his younger brother Thirdy in the B. League. 

Kiefer signed with the Shiga Lakestars for the 2021-2022 season, just a month after Thirdy signed a multi-year contract with San-En NeoPhoenix.

The B. League posted the announcement on its Facebook page on Wednesday, June 2.

Kiefer’s NLEX coach, Yeng Guiao, confirmed last March that the former Ateneo stalwart received an offer to play in Japan.

Just like his brother Thirdy, Kiefer will play under the Asian Player Quotas of the B. League.

The Lakestars play in the B. League’s Western Conference and finished 13th out of 20 teams in the 2020-2021 season. 

Japan’s top tier basketball tournament introduced the Asian Player Quotas system in order to pave the path for foreign players from the continent to play in the league. 

Thirdy became the first Filipino to play professionally in the B. League with the San-en NeoPhoenix, but his pro debut was marred with setbacks such as visa issues, COVID-19, and injuries.

Playing only 18 of the team’s 59 games, Thirdy averaged 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in his debut season.

Kiefer, who recently became the first Filipino to sign with the Jordan Brand, averaged 19.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.

Last March, Guiao said Ravena may face some hurdles to play in Japan as he is under contract with NLEX.

Ravena, alongside backcourt partner Kevin Alas, signed a three-year contract extension with NLEX in September.

By virtue of signing with a PBA team, Guiao said Ravena is also committed to the PBA through the Uniform Players’ Contract. – With a report from Beatrice Go/Rappler.com