Filipino cagers' stint in Japan B.League a 'slam-dunk' for PH-Japan ties—Japanese envoy

Filipino cagers' stint in Japan's professional basketball league is a "slam-dunk" for the Philippine-Japan relations, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa said.

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa (center) with Filipino athletes playing in Japan's pro-league (from left), Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, Javier Gomez de Liaño, and Kemark Cariño (Photo courtesy of B.League)

During a recent event with five Filipino basketball players, the ambassador stressed that the Filipino athletes playing in the Japan B.League are "crossovers to the bilateral ties" of the two nations. The B.League is operated by the Japan Professional Basketball League.

He said the impacts of these "crossovers" are like a "slam-dunk" for the two countries' relations.

The ambassador stated this during his special message to the guests at the Nissay B.League finals 2021-2022 watch party held at the Titan Fort in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City on May 28.

The watch party was attended by Filipino athletes, who are playing in Japan's pro-league, namely Thirdy Ravena (San-en NeoPhoenix) Kiefer Ravena (Shiga Lakestars), Javier Gomez de Liaño (Ibaraki Robots), Kemark Cariño (Aomori Wat’s), and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. (Nagoya Diamond Dolphins).

The Japanese diplomat expressed gratitude to the five homegrown athletes for playing in Japan B.League.

According to the Japan Embassy in Manila, the watch party is the B.League’s gesture of gratitude for its growing following in the Philippines.