Japan B. League

Kiefer Ravena out to ‘showcase worth’ of PBA to B. League competition

JR Isaga
Kiefer Ravena out to ‘showcase worth’ of PBA to B. League competition

DEBUT. Kiefer Ravena drops double-digit numbers for the Shiga Lakestars in the opening weekend.

Japan B League

‘They play differently out here,’ says Kiefer Ravena after his stellar Japan B. League debut

The influx of top-tier Filipino talent to the Japan B. League has been a hot topic in hoops fans’ circles for a number of reasons, and one of them is the overseas pro league’s inevitable comparison to the Philippines’ own PBA.

Going against the currently popular idea of pitting the two leagues together, Shiga Lakestars import Kiefer Ravena shared that the Pinoy ballers’ arrivals could simply mean they took the opportunity to promote their capabilities on an expanded stage.

“I think in terms of competition, Japan and the Philippines have always been neck-and-neck in international competition,” he said in a special B. League press conference with his brother Thirdy of the San-en NeoPhoenix.

“I’m just so happy to be able to represent my league as well in the Philippines, and showcase our worth as Filipino basketball players in a professional league in the PBA.”

The elder Ravena has only had two games so far under his belt, a pair of contrasting thrillers against Thirdy’s San-en, but he has shown no signs that his talent level is anywhere below the opposition offered in Japan.

In his first B. League win, Ravena helped facilitate a massive 22-point comeback against San-en where he tallied 11 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals without any turnovers. 

(READ: Kiefer wins first Ravena battle as Shiga deals Thirdy’s San-en late stunner)

Although Shiga lost to the NeoPhoenix the very next day, this time in an 18-point revenge rally, the PBA All-Star still led the losing cause with 20 points and 7 dimes. 

(READ: Thirdy Ravena flips script on bro Kiefer as San-en downs Shiga in OT revenge)

“I think it’s not too far in terms of competition. It’s just that you have to adjust to the speed and the physicality out here also. They play differently out here. You have to adjust to the referees and everybody,” Ravena said.

“It’s just the adjustment of playing internationally, playing with new teammates, and playing against different teams.”

Ravena is not the only PBA star in the eight-man Filipino delegation, as former TNT Tropang Giga centerpiece Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. has also signed with the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, although he is currently out due to an unspecified muscle injury.

At the end of the day, as certain fans continue entertaining fantasy conflicts in their heads, Ravena and the rest of the Pinoy imports are only out to elevate their games, and represent the basketball-crazed nation they will always call home.

“We want to increase and widen the popularity of the already-popular B. League. We’re just lucky to help the league expand for basketball,” Ravena said.

“We just want to grow in the sport, and we’re just helping everybody out here to make dreams come true.” – Rappler.com