Kiefer gets NLEX nod for Japan stint

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
Kiefer gets NLEX nod for Japan stint
Photo shows Kiefer Ravena, the newest member of the Jordan brand family.
jumpman23 on Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — After Bobby Ray Parks Jr., it’s the turn of NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena to get clearance to ply his trade in the Japanese B. League.

Ravena, who sparked controversy when he signed with Shiga Lakestars despite his live contract with the Road Warriors, can head over to Japan once NLEX wraps up its campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Per special agreement among the PBA, NLEX and Ravena, the heady playmaker will only play one season with Shiga then rejoin the Road Warriors afterwards.

“The board of governors and PBA allowed Kiefer to play in Japan but with conditions and stressed this won’t be a precedent,” commissioner Willie Marcial said during a presscon with NLEX executive Ronald Dulatre and Ravena himself.

The board approved Ravena’s overseas stint after NLEX and the Gilas Pilipinas veteran agreed to terminate the three-year Uniform Players’ Contract they signed in September 2020.

Ravena is set to follow his younger brother Thirdy who’s already on his second B. League season with the San-en NeoPhoenix. His clearance came a day after the unsigned Parks was cleared by the TNT Tropang Giga to go to Japan.

“I’m very much excited to play for Shiga this season and wave the Philippine flag and prove that the Filipino can,” said Ravena.

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine zapped Meralco, 85-72, in the duel of unbeaten squads and claimed the solo lead in the 46th PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Javee Mocon was everywhere with 18 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals while veteran slotman Beau Belga hauled down a 17-10 double-double as the Elasto Painters hiked their mark to 3-0.

Norbert Torres (11) and PBA Press Corps Player of the Week Rey Nambatac (11) were also instrumental for Rain or Shine that bucked an early 10-point deficit to break away from Magnolia (2-0) and Meralco (2-1) in an erstwhile three-way logjam at the top.

Meanwhile, Vic Manuel feasted with 26 points and 12 rebounds on his former squad as the Matthew Wright-less Phoenix clipped Alaska, 101-93, for its first win.

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