The PBA board gave the go signal for NLEX Road Warriors star Kiefer Ravena to play for the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B. League, promising to play for one season only and thereafter, to sign a new contract with NLEX again.

/ 25 July 2021

Last June 2, 2021, the PBA board and Filipino fans were in “commotion and distraction” due to the news that Ravena will be joining the Japan B.League despite being bound by a contract with NLEX.

As negotiations and meetings were conducted, the NLEX team announced on Saturday, Ravena will be in action in the top division Japanese basketball, as the PBA gave the go signal.

“We are very pleased to announce that Kiefer Ravena will join Shiga Lakestars after the Philippine Cup,” said the club in a statement.

“As a PG (point guard) 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.”

However, since NLEX and Ravena oversee their pre-existing contract, violations were made in accordance with PBA rules on site of accepting the offer from Lakestars, and as a result, Ravena was compromised to play one season only and return immediately to play for NLEX, and if not, he will be fined.

NLEX will be fined an undisclosed amount, said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. While Ravena also showed remorse and said that he learned a lot after signing last month. 

“I’ve learned a lot since my Japanese team, the Shiga Lakestars, announced my signing with them last June 2021. Looking back, I should have sought clearance from the PBA for signing with Shiga,”  Ravena said

“I apologize for any hurt feelings and stress that this has caused the PBA and to my team the NLEX Road Warriors. Most especially, I want to apologize to the PBA fans for the controversy and the distraction. It was not my intention,” he added. 

Now that everything is cleared, the club also perceived that this opportunity would bring Japanese and Filipino fans to appreciate and dream of being an international athlete. 

“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,” the club stated.