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Kiefer set for Shiga debut



Kiefer Ravena was finally given the green light to make his debut for the Shiga Lakestars in the upcoming season of the Japanese B.League in October.

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial said the league management and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) agreed that they would no longer require Ravena to go back to the country and, instead, may pursue his stint in the prestigious Japanese professional league.

Marcial said they dropped their objection after Ravena’s mother team – NLEX – had given its blessing after deciding to release him from his contract.

“NLEX already gave him the go-signal, so we’re already allowing it as well,” Marcial told the Daily Tribune in an interview.

“We don’t see any reason to prevent him from doing so.”

Ravena, who averaged 15.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists in his first four games in the ongoing Philippine Cup, pulled off a shocker when he signed a deal with the Lakestars despite the existence of a live contract with the Road Warriors.

Although the PBA board of governors initially thumbed down Ravena’s move, the league later on gave him the green light to play in Japan on the condition that he will finish his commitment in the ongoing conference and he will return to the country after one season.

Still, Ravena decided to fly to Japan late August and the league and the Road Warriors didn’t hear anything from him about his return.

In a previous conversation, Marcial bared that Ravena was “having a problem” catching a flight back to Manila due to the tight travel restrictions.

But with Ravena finally getting clearance from the league, the SBP and the Road Warriors, Marcial assured that he will no longer face any sanction.

Ravena and the Lakestars are tipped to kick off their season with back-to-back home games against his younger brother, Thirdy, and the San-En NeoPhoenix on 2 and 3 October.

“Now that everyone and the board have already agreed, then he can finally do (what he wants),” Marcial said.   IAN SUYU