Asia Rising Stars game 'one to remember' for Pinoys, says Kiefer

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2021 05:27 PM

Shiga Lakestars guard Kiefer Ravena.
Shiga Lakestars guard Kiefer Ravena. (c) B.LEAGUE

For Shiga Lakestars guard Kiefer Ravena, his participation in the Asia Rising Stars Game during the B.League's All-Star festivities is a milestone in his professional career.

Ravena will team up with the other Filipino players in the B.League, as well as other Asian Quota players, to take on the league's Rising Stars in an All-Star Game on January 14 in Okinawa.

It marks the first time that the B.League will hold an All-Star Game between its Asian imports and the league's rookies.

"(I'm) very, very honored," said Ravena of his selection to the Asia All-Stars team. "If I'm not mistaken, this will be the first time that there will be a Rising Stars and the Asian Quota game for the B.League."

"This is such a big event for each and every one of us, especially for the Asian guys, the Asian Quota players, knowing that we're playing in the league that gives us very much importance that they also want us to be part of the yearly event in the All Star game," he added.

"This is a great event, and for sure, this is one event that we will always remember."

Ravena will be joined in the roster by his younger brother, Thirdy, who is in his second season with the San-En NeoPhoenix. Also part of the team are: Ray Parks (Nagoya Diamond Dolphins), Javi Gomez de Liano (Ibaraki Robots), Dwight Ramos (Toyoma Grouses), Kobe Paras (Niigata Albirex BB), Kemark Carino (Aomori Wat's), and Juan Gomez de Liano (Earthfriends Tokyo Z).

The other Asian Quota Players who will complete their line-up are: Indonesia's Brandon Jawato (Utsunomiya Brex); China's Wang Weijia (Akita Northern Happinets); Korea's Yang Jae-min (Shinshu Brave Warriors); Taiwan's Lin Chih-wei (Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka); and China's Liu Jin (Nishinomiya Storks).

Dai Oketani of the Ryukyu Golden Kings will be their coach.

Ravena is cherishing the rare opportunity to team up not just with his brother, but with the other Filipinos who have made the jump to the B.League this season.

"It's not so very often that you get to play along with your Filipino brothers and the different players from different countries as well," he pointed out.

"Basketball is really tough. You never know when you guys will be together again in one team, so definitely we will cherish this moment being able to represent our country, and the different players also with their countries in this event," he added.

The Asian Quota players will be facing a Rising Stars team composed of: Kai Toews (Utsunomiya), Takuma Sato (Chiba Jets), Taiki Osakabe (Alvark Tokyo), Keisuke Masuda (Kawasaki Brave Thunders), Satoru Maeta (Kawasaki), Yuto Nohmi (Niigata), Matthew Aquino (Shinshu), Ryogo Sumino (Seahorses Mikawa), Takumi Saito (Nagoya), Eliet Donley (Osaka Evessa), Ryo Terashima (Hiroshima Dragonflies), Koh Flippin (Ryukyu Golden Kings), and Keita Imamura (Ryukyu).

It will be a busy day for the Filipinos, as the Ravena brothers are set to compete in the Skills Challenge ahead of the Asia Rising Stars Game, while Javi Gomez de Liano will participate in the three-point shootout, and Paras will take part in the Slam Dunk Contest.

The main B.League All-Star Game is set for January 15, still in Okinawa.