Kiefer Ravena signs with Shiga Lakestars in Japan's B.League

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2021 11:07 AM | Updated as of Jun 02 2021 12:05 PM

Kiefer Ravena signs with Shiga Lakestars in Japan's B.League 1

(2nd UPDATE) Another Ravena is headed to Japan's B.League.

Kiefer Ravena has signed a contract with the Shiga Lakestars for the 2021-22 season, the club announced on Wednesday.

Ravena will be registered as an Asian import, similar to his younger brother Thirdy's situation with the San-En NeoPhoenix.

He will be formally introduced next Monday along with Shiga's new head coach, Luis Guil Torres.

In its statement, Shiga noted that Ravena is "an extremely popular athlete," with over a million followers on various social media accounts. They also lauded the player for his participation in the FIBA World Cup 2019 with Gilas Pilipinas.

Ravena is joining a Shiga Lakestars team that went 23-36 in the B.League's West region last season, and missed the playoffs. 

He will play in the same region as Thirdy and the NeoPhoenix. The younger Ravena recently signed a contract extension with San-En after an injury-riddled campaign last year.

The B.League season starts in October, with teams playing 60 games -- 30 at home and 30 on the road.

In March, NLEX Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao revealed that Ravena had gotten a "really good offer" to play in Japan. At the time, Guiao noted that there were certain hurdles that Ravena had to overcome in order to sign a contract with a B.League team.

Ravena was drafted second overall by the Road Warriors in 2017, but never got to play a full season for NLEX. His rookie and sophomore years were hampered by a FIBA-imposed sanction after he tested positive for banned substances.

In 2020, the PBA season was shortened to just one conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ravena and the Road Warriors finished 5-6 in the elimination round in the PBA's bubble, and missed the playoffs.

In May, Ravena became the first Filipino athlete to sign with Nike's Jordan Brand.

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