By REYNALD MAGALLON
Shiga Lakestars officially welcomed NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena through its social media pages on Sunday following news confirming the release from the PBA of the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart.
The Lakestars already updated Ravena’s player information on its official website while also posting photos of the Ateneo de Manila University standout in the blue and yellow threads of his new team.
Ravena, through Shiga’s official YouTube channel, thanked all of his supporters while inviting them to watch the game between Shiga and San-En Neo Phoenix where his younger brother Thirdy Ravena plays.
“Iniimbitahan ko po kayong panoorin ang laban naming magkapatid ni Thirdy, Shiga Lakestars kontra San-En Neo Phoenix. Maraming maraming salamat po sa pagsuporta sa aming dalawa at sana po ay magpatuloy ang suporta niyo all throughout the season,” said Ravena in the short video message.
The Lakestars announced that the game will be free for all Filipinos who want to witness the clash of the two Filipino stars. The Ravenas will face each other for their openers in Japan B-League when Thirdy’s Neo Phoenix visit the Lakestars in back-to-back games on October 2 and 3 at the Ukaruchan Arena in Otsu City.
News regarding Ravena’s release surfaced on Saturday and was later confirmed by NLEX team Ronald Dulatre in a short message to Manila Bulletin.
“Yes. NLEX clearance was forwarded to (the) PBA,” Dulatre said, confirming Ravena’s clearance.
Ravena looks to add firepower to Lakestars backcourt with his averages of 15.8 points on 40-percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.8 steals, in the four games he played for the Road Warriors in the on-going PBA Philippine Cup.
Aside from the two Ravena’s, six other Filipino cagers are looking to make their marks in Japan led by Bobby Ray Parks Jr. of Nagoya Diamond Dolphins and Kobe Paras of Niigata Albirex BB.
Dwight Ramos will also suit up for Toyama Grouses and Javi Gomez de Liaño will play for Ibaraki Robots. Juan Gomez de Liaño and Kenmark Carino join Division II teams Earthfriends Tokyo Z and Aomori Wat’s respectively.