MANILA, Philippines -- Kiefer Ravena will be a crucial factor in the Shiga Lakestars' campaign in the upcoming B.League season, the team said after the guard was finally cleared to join them.
Ravena was given the go-signal by the PBA and his mother team, the NLEX Road Warriors, to play for one season in the B.League. He will first finish their campaign in the 2021 PBA All-Filipino Cup before heading to Japan.
"We are very pleased to announce that Kiefer Ravena will join Shiga Lakestars after the Philippine Cup," Shiga said in a statement.
"As a point guard who has international experience as a player of the Philippine National Team, we believe that Kiefer Ravena is an essential asset for Shiga Lakestars to advance to the championship this season, and to achieve continuous growth in order to enter the new B1 League," they added.
Ravena signed with Shiga in June 2021, but was almost immediately barred by the PBA from taking his talents to Japan.
The league cited the existing contract that Ravena has with NLEX, which also bound him to the PBA.
However, on Saturday it was announced that Ravena's camp and NLEX came to an agreement with the PBA after several discussions. Ravena's contract with NLEX will be terminated at the end of the conference, and he will sign a new one with the Road Warriors upon his return from the B.League.
Shiga noted that Ravena's stint in Japan "will have a huge positive impact on basketball fans in Japan and the Philippines, as well as to young kids who dream of becoming international professional basketball athletes.
Ravena joins a growing list of Filipino athletes who have decided to play in Japan's B.League rather than the PBA.
His younger brother, Thirdy, will be playing for the San-En NeoPhoenix for the second consecutive season. Shiga will meet San-En for its season opener on October 2.
Also playing in Japan are: Juan Gomez de Liano (Earthfriends Tokyo Z in Division 2), and Javi Gomez de Liano (Ibaraki Robots) and Kemark Carino (Aomori Wat's in Division 2).