|Kiefer Ravena can now play for the Lakestars in the upcoming B.League season. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA--Kiefer Ravena will be playing in Japan after all.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed on Saturday that the second generation Ravena has finally been allowed to play for the Shiga Lakestars of the B.League, ending a contract dispute that marred the NLEX Road Warrior over the preseason until early into the PBA season.
"Pinayagan ng PBA board of governors si Kiefer," Marcial said in an online press conference prior to the Saturday doubleheader.
However, the commissioner bared that some conditions had to be made before clearing Ravena to play in Japan's top flight league.
"Hindi ito magiging precedent," Marcial assured on whether this could lead to an exodus of PBA veterans to the B.League.
Reacting to the news, NLEX official Ronald Dulatre, reading the team's statement, said, "The NLEX Road Warriors are happy to announce that an agreement has been reached to the PBA to allow Kiefer to play in the Japan B.League for one season."
He then assured, "Kiefer has committed to return to the Philippines and play for the Road Warriors after his one-year stint with the Shiga Lakestars."
Ravena confirmed Dulatre's statement, saying, "I'll be back next year to suit up for the NLEX Road Warriors and play in front of our home fans."
He then said, "I would like to give a big thank you to the PBA for allowing me to join the Shiga Lakestars this season."
Ravena thanked NLEX, especially Coach Yeng Guiao and the rest of his coaching staff, "for their guidance and support from Day 1 and during this ordeal."
Dulatre also said that Ravena will finish his stint in the ongoing Philippine Cup before traveling to Otsu to join Shiga.
The Lakestars will start their season on Oct. 2 at home against the San-En NeoPhoenix--and Kiefer's brother Thirdy.
On whether the Ravena Derby would happen right at the opening weekend or not depends on how far NLEX will go in the ongoing conference.
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