Filipino basketball players

PBA gives Kiefer Ravena green light to play in Japan B. League

Delfin Dioquino
PBA gives Kiefer Ravena green light to play in Japan B. League

JAPAN-BOUND. Kiefer Ravena needs to finish his Philippine Cup stint with NLEX before he flies to Japan.

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Kiefer Ravena will suit up for the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B. League, but has to return to the PBA after one year and sign a new contract with NLEX

Kiefer Ravena is officially heading to Japan.

Ravena can now suit up for the Shiga Lakestars of the Japanese B. League after getting the green light from the PBA, the NLEX Road Warriors bared on Saturday, July 24.

“The NLEX Road Warriors are happy to announce that an agreement has been reached with the PBA to allow Kiefer to play in Japan B. League for one season,” team manager Ronald Dulatre read from a statement.

Before seeing action in the Land of the Rising Sun, Ravena has to finish his ongoing Philippine Cup stint with NLEX.

After that, his contract with the Road Warriors will be terminated, although he is required to return to the PBA after one season in Japan as part of the new agreement he signed with NLEX and the league.

Upon his return, Ravena will sign a new contract with the Road Warriors.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Ravena promised to come back to the league after a year.

“Kiefer vowed that he will return. Kiefer told me that even if his salary increases, he will return. He said he just wants to experience playing internationally,” Marcial said in Filipino.

If Ravena opts to stay in Japan for more than a year, he will face sanctions from the PBA.

Lesson learned

Ravena apologized to the PBA for the controversy brought by the announcement of his signing with Shiga, considering he still has a live contract with NLEX.

The PBA earlier said Ravena cannot play in the B. League as he has to honor his Road Warriors deal and the Uniform Players’ Contract he inked.

“I’ve learned a lot since my Japanese team, the Shiga Lakestars, announced my signing with them last June 2021,” Ravena said. “Looking back, I should have sought clearance from the PBA for signing with Shiga.”

“I apologize for any hurt feelings and stress that this has caused the PBA and to my team the NLEX Road Warriors.”

NLEX has been fined an undisclosed amount by the PBA for allowing Ravena to sign with the Lakestars.

Ravena also said sorry to PBA fans.

“Most especially, I want to apologize to the PBA fans for the controversy and the distraction. It was not my intention,” Ravena said.

The Philippine Cup is scheduled to finish on the first or second week of October, while the 2021-2022 B. League season is slated to start in September. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.