After all the buzz around his controversial move, Kiefer Ravena is bound to take his talents to the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B.League.
NLEX assistant vice president Ronald Dulatre bared in a virtual press conference on Saturday, July 24 that the team has reached an agreement with the PBA to give the Road Warriors’ star guard the green light to play in the Japanese league.
“The NLEX Road Warriors are happy to announce that an agreement has been reached with the PBA to allow Kiefer to play in the Japan B. League for one season. This agreement was reached following discussions with the PBA Board, Commissioner Willie Marcial, NLEX Road Warriors management, and Kiefer’s camp,” said Dulatre reading an official statement.
Under the agreement, Ravena will play one season for Shiga then come back to the PBA.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said that the 27-year-old playmaker himself promised to return after a year. Otherwise, he will be sanctioned by the league.
Ravena will need to finish his stint first with the Road Warriors in the ongoing Philippine Cup wherein they currently hold a 1-2 record before he can go to Japan.
Ravena thanked the PBA for allowing him to fulfill his dream of playing overseas and apologized for the distractions caused by his signing with Shiga last June.
“Mga boss, comm (Marcial), hindi ko po sinasadya na dagdagan pa ang sakit ng ulo ninyo. Pasensya na,” said the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay.
“Most especially, I want to apologize to the PBA fans for the controversy and distraction. It was not my intention,” he added.
Ravena will join his brother Thirdy who is playing for the San-En NeoPhoenix in the B.League as well as other Filipino cagers including Gomez De Liaño brothers Juan and Javi and ex-San Beda standout Kemark Cariño who decided to play in Japan.
The development, however, did not come without a sanction as the PBA fined NLEX for an undisclosed amount although Ravena was spared from punishment.
“‘Yan ang napag-usapan ng Board na agreeable ang NLEX. At pinayagan nila, parang ganun ‘yung tono e,” said the league chief.
NLEX admitted its shortcomings and accepted the decision of the PBA.
“Having a live contract with us and signing with Shiga is something that caused this whole fiasco. We acknowledge our mistake that is why we are here and we approached PBA for an amicable settlement. We acknowledge the fine that the league will impose on NLEX,” said the team’s legal counsel Atty. JD Garcia.