Kiefer Ravena, NLEX Road Warriors star, has received a conditional release from the PBA to play for the Shiga Lakestars in the B.League, a Japanese professional basketball league.
The PBA will not impose any fines on the 27-year-old, but the league will penalize his team, NLEX, for allowing their player to sign with another team while still under contract with them. The amount was not revealed during the Saturday morning virtual press conference.
The press conference was attended by Ravena, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, NLEX top brass Ronald Dulatre, and league legal chief JD Garcia.
“The NLEX Road Warriors are happy to announce that an agreement has been reached with the PBA to allow Kiefer to play in the Japan B. League for one season. This agreement was reached following discussions with the PBA Board, Commissioner Willie Marcial, NLEX Road Warriors management, and Kiefer’s camp,” shared Dulatre.
The PBA, on the other hand, stipulated that Ravena would only play for Shiga for one season, and only after completing his duties to NLEX in the Philippine Cup. If Ravena does not return to NLEX after one season, the PBA will be forced to penalize him.
Ravena also expressed regret for causing controversy and distraction with his actions.
“I apologized for any hurts, any hurt feelings and stress that this has caused the PBA and my team, the NLEX Road Warriors. I specifically want to apologize to the PBA Board of Governors and Commissioner Willie Marcial who I know are doing their best to lead the PBA and meeting the changes and challenges brought about by the pandemic,” said Ravena.
Ravena has stated that he will play for the Road Warriors throughout the conference.
For their part, Shiga Lakestars has been keeping a close eye on Kiefer Ravena and the Philippine Basketball Association’s progress.
And with the recent decision by the PBA and Ravena’s current team, the Shinsuke Sakai-owned Lakestars said, “As officially announced by the PBA (Philippine League) today, July 24th, 2021, #15 Kiefer Ravena, who has signed a contract with Shiga Lakestars for the 2021-22 season, will join the team after the PBA Philippine Cup, where he is currently playing for the NLEX Road Warriors.”
“We are very pleased to announce that Kiefer Ravena will join Shiga Lakestars after the Philippine Cup,” it added.
“As a PG 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 starting in 2026,” the statement read.
“We also believe that Kiefer Ravena’s success 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.”