PBA thumbs down Kiefer Ravena's move to Japan

Published June 5, 2021, 5:41 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Kiefer Ravena (PBA Images)

The PBA Board of Governors decided with finality to thumb down the bid of NLEX Road Warriors star Kiefer Ravena to play for the Shiga Lakestars in Japan’s B.League.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas announced the decision following a virtual board meeting Saturday, June 5, saying that Ravena should honor his current deal with the Road Warriors as per the terms of the league’s Uniform Players Contract.

Vargas said that the board did study some scenarios, like allowing Ravena to push through with his trip to the Land of the Rising Sun despite having a live pact.

But in the end, Vargas explained that “breaking that contract will be very difficult for us to manage moving forward.”

“We looked at all possible scenarios and all the risks of the scenarios, and came out with this decision that it is best that we strictly follow the policy of not breaking contracts as we felt that there would be more negatives if we allow such to happen,” Vargas said in a virtual press conference.

“It was very difficult for us, the officers of the PBA, to sit through this discussion,” added Vargas.

Vargas, who was joined by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and vice chairman Bobby Rosales, added that the league has sent a letter to the B.League, explaining the reason for barring Ravena’s stint.

Rosales mentioned that the letter addressed to B.League president Shinji Shimada contains Ravena’s situation which is that his contract will last until the end of the 2023 season.

“The communication with the Japanese league will be factual,” said Rosales. “It will exactly be the situation of Kiefer as a player of NLEX and a member of the PBA organization.

“So nothing less and nothing more, and that it is important that it should be respected,” he added.

The PBA also informed its decision to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, which has jurisdiction with regards to transfer of players abroad.

Marcial, meanwhile, plans to discuss the matter in a more formal setting with Ravena in the future. The PBA chief had an informal talk with the Gilas Pilipinas veteran even prior to Shiga’s announcement where he immediately said that the move is prohibited under league rules.