PBA won’t allow Kiefer to play in Japan, says NLEX contract must be honored

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2021 05:07 PM | Updated as of Jun 05 2021 06:50 PM

PBA won’t allow Kiefer to play in Japan, says NLEX contract must be honored 1

The PBA board on Saturday announced it will enforce the uniform players' contract in relation to Kiefer Ravena signing with the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B.League.

The development means Ravena cannot play overseas.

The league announced it decision following a online board meeting after the Lakestars announced signing Ravena for the B.League.

"The Board has decided that Kiefer has to honor its contract with NLEX and with the PBA . . . So that's where we are," said PBA chairman Ricky Vargas in an online press conference attended by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and vice-chairman Bobby Rosales. 

"Its decision follows specifically the philosophy of the importance of a contract, which is in Philippine laws is very important, (also) in the PBA and in FIBA."

Ravena's contract with NLEX is effective in the next three years.

The PBA will communicate with the Japan B.League president via a letter regarding the development.

Vargas added that the league will also relay the board decision to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the sport's national governing body.

"We will inform them that this is the decision of the PBA . . . We'll also inform the SBP that this is our decision and we are sure as a member of the SBP they will respect this decision," he said.

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Ravena earlier bid adieu to the NLEX Road Warriors squad and the PBA, as if to say he was already cleared to join the Shiga Lakestars.

Apparently, it wasn't the case as his team said in an announcement that he will have to abide by the uniform players' contract, which he signed with the NLEX and the PBA.

Marcial said he will talk with Ravena regarding the matter very soon.

"Ako mismo kakausap kay Kiefer," said the commissioner.

"Nagusap kami noong Monday-Tuesday, informal nagbibiruan pa kami. Pero sinabi ko sa kanya Kiefer hindi talaga pwede."

Regarding the possible sanctions against Kiefer, Rosales said they could not answer this for now.

"At this point we do not know how FIBA will take this. It is not also timely for us to address a hypothetical question. We'd rather communicate this first to Kiefer," he said.

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