Kiefer Ravena will no longer return for the remainder of NLEX’s campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup after being cleared to play for the Shiga Lakestars in time for the start of Japan’s B.League season next week.
Team official Ronald Dulatre confirmed Saturday, Sept. 24 that Ravena has been given the full blessing of NLEX and the PBA to focus on his Japanese stint even though the Road Warriors are still preparing for the upcoming quarterfinals.
“Yes. NLEX clearance was forwarded to (the) PBA,” Dulatre said in a short message confirming Ravena’s clearance.
Ravena later took to social media to thank NLEX and the league, saying: “Thank you to my (NLEX) family and management and the (PBA) family.”
It would be recalled that the PBA allowed Ravena to suit up for Shiga on the condition that he finishes his NLEX duties after the Philippine Cup.
But Ravena left for Japan prior to the restart in Bacolor, Pampanga in late-August to arrange requirements needed for his B.League stint.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said almost two weeks earlier that he was unsure about the timetable of Ravena’s return.
Ravena played all of his four games with NLEX in late-July at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, averaging 15.8 points on 40-percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.8 steals.
The one-month stoppage of the eliminations due to COVID-19 pushed the ongoing conference further, which may have played a factor in Ravena getting the green light to start his Japan campaign in time.
Ravena and Shiga open their B.League season with a two-game weekend series against younger brother Thirdy and the San-en Neophoenix on Oct. 2 and 3.
The Road Warriors advanced to the quarterfinals after finishing with a 5-6 record, but will face the No. 2 Meralco Bolts with a twice-to-win disadvantage.