Six Filipino imports enter free agency in Japan B.League

At a glance

  • A total of six Filipino imports found themselves as free agents at the conclusion of the 2023-24 Japan B. League.

A total of six Filipino imports found themselves as free agents at the conclusion of the 2023-24 Japan B. League. 

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Ray Parks Jr., Matthew Wright, Thirdy Ravena, Kai Sotto, Kiefer Ravena, AJ Edu (Japan B. League)

With their future in their hands, Ray Parks Jr. became the sixth and latest addition to the list as his contract with the Nagoya Dolphins has just recently lapsed. 

Although Parks Jr. has been in renegotiation with Nagoya about a possible extension, he has joined five other Filipinos currently seeking a new home or awaiting decision in the Japanese league. 

Entering free agency, Kai Sotto, Matthew Wright, AJ Edu and the Ravena brothers were first to board the ship. 

Last week, Gilas big man Sotto capped his brilliant third season in Japan with Yokohama B-Corsairs on a loan from recently crowned champion Hiroshima Dragonflies. 

Sotto made significant strides in his club career with Yokohama, even posting a career-high 28 points and a handful of double-double outings midway through the season to make his minutes matter in the transfer. 

Meanwhile, Wright, who became the fastest Filipino to hit 1000 points in Japan B. League which he achieved just last January, has opted for free agency but remained in discussion with Kyoto Hannaryz. 

Following a six-year stint in the PBA, Wright signed with Kyoto on a two-year deal. 

Among his fellow Filipino quota players, the 33-year-old Wright holds the single-game record of 37 points in his meaningful move to the Japanese league. 

On the other hand, young big Edu’s pro debut with the Toyama Grouses only lasted 14 games after sustaining a torn meniscus in late 2023. 

Edu then answered to national duty as part of Tim Cone's Gilas 12, though he had to sit out the squad's earlier campaigns to focus on getting back into his sharp form. 

Thirdy, for his part, who became the first Filipino to breakthrough in the league, kissed his four-year partnership goodbye with San-En NeoPhoenix. 

The younger Ravena helped in leading San-En to the Central Conference championship victory which also earned them an outright B1 playoff seat in the process. 

San-En wound up in an impressive third seed overall finish, with Thirdy playing a meaningful role in the franchise's historic 15-game winning streak at some point in the competition. 

However, the NeoPhoenix suffered a quarterfinal exit at the hands of eventual champion Dragonflies in their playoffs clash. 

Finally, Kiefer became a free agent shortly after steering Shiga Lakes to the B2 title. 

The older Ravena was one of the key pieces in the Shiga's second division championship run on top of captaining the team to its success, which should help their cause in being promoted back to the league's top tier.  

For now, Kiefer has committed to suiting up for Strong Group Athletics in the 43rd William Jones Cup in Taiwan.