MANILA, Philippines -- Dwight Ramos had offers from other teams aside from the Toyama Grouses, but it wasn't difficult for him to decide to sign with the B.League club.
Ramos recently became the eighth Filipino basketball player to sign as an Asian import in Japan's B.League, in the process foregoing his eligibility with the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
The 23-year-old Ramos told former PBA commissioner Noli Eala that it was "pretty easy" for him to choose Toyoma, even though he also received offers from teams in Taiwan as well as couple of other clubs in the B.League.
"When I met with the GM (general manager) and all their staff there, in the Zoom meeting, they were really friendly and welcoming, and they really seemed like nice people," Ramos said on "Power and Play."
"So I think that's why I felt really at ease in making that decision," he added.
One factor that contributed heavily to his decision was the possibility of playing post-season basketball with the Grouses.
Toyama made the B.League playoffs last season as the fourth seed in the East District after compiling a 39-21 win-loss record, although they lost to the Ryukyu Golden Kings in three games in the quarterfinals. Ryukyu topped the West District with a 40-16 slate.
"They (Toyama) were in the playoffs last year, and that's kind of what I was looking for, so I could play in the playoffs with a professional team, and hopefully make a championship run with them," Ramos explained.
"That's kind of ultimately why I was looking at that team," he added.
Ramos hopes that with him in the fold, the Grouses can make another run to the playoffs, and even go further this season.
Along the way, he looks forward to competing against the other Filipino players who are also suiting up in the B.League. Competing in Japan's Division 1 are brothers Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, for San-En NeoPhoenix and Shiga Lakestars, respectively; Ray Parks (Nagoya Diamond Dolphins); Kobe Paras (Niigata Albirex); and Javi Gomez de Liano (Ibaraki Robots).
"I'm excited to play against all our Filipinos over there. Every game against them, I'm gonna be super excited to get out there with them. Most of them, I haven't really played too much with," said Ramos.
Ramos briefly got to play with Gomez de Liano, Paras, and the Ravena brothers for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers, but he has yet to play against them in a formal setting.
"I'm just looking to play against them, have fun out there, and hopefully get to the championship with Toyama," he said.
The Grouses open their campaign on October 2 against the Shinshu Brave Warriors. Ramos' first game against a fellow Filipino will be on October 16, when Toyama plays Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.