Can the PBA stop Kiefer Ravena from playing in Japan?

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2021 12:41 PM

Can the PBA stop Kiefer Ravena from playing in Japan? 1

MANILA, Philippines -- It looks like Kiefer Ravena still has some hurdles to overcome before he can play for the Shiga Lakestars in Japan's B.League.

The club announced Wednesday that Ravena has signed a contract for the 2021-22 B.League season, making Ravena the second Filipino player to serve as an Asian import in Japan.

His younger brother, Thirdy, was the first, having played for the San-En NeoPhoenix last season and recently signing a contract extension with the team.

But according to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, the league's rules prevent Ravena from signing with a different club in a different league.

"Hindi pwede," Marcial told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.

Marcial said he and Ravena had "informal talks" on Tuesday regarding this development, and he informed the player that it was against the PBA's rules and regulations.

"Kasi may UPC (uniform player contract), may UPC sa atin. May kontrata sa atin eh. So masasabi ko lang, hindi pupwede," he said.

Ravena had signed a three-year contract extension with the NLEX Road Warriors in September 2020. He thus needs to secure a clearance with the franchise as well as the PBA in order to head abroad to play.

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao has yet to respond to a request for comment. 

ABS-CBN News has also reached out to Ravena regarding the PBA's stance. He is expected to be introduced by the Shiga Lakestars next Monday.

According to Marcial, he is now waiting for Ravena's next move but was firm on his stance on the matter.

"Tingnan natin kung anong susunod na gagawin niya. Basta, as of now, ako, hindi pwede," he said. "Hindi pinapayagan ng PBA, sa ating regulasyon. Sa ating mga rules, hindi siya pwede kasi may UPC siya, may kontrata siya sa akin."