By JONAS TERRADO
Kiefer Ravena is set to follow the lead of his younger brother Thirdy in Japan after signing a contract to play for the Shiga Lakestars.
But before he could suit up for the Lakestars in Japan’s B.League, Ravena will likely face a stumbling block after the PBA said the move may compromise his current contract with the NLEX Road Warriors.
Ravena’s move to the Land of the Rising Sun was announced Wednesday by the Lakestars on their website, only mentioning that the national team veteran is signed for the 2021-22 season under the league’s “Asian Player Quota” rule.
The rule allows Asian imports from signing with any B.League club.
Congratulatory messages were sent to Ravena, who will try to emulate what Thirdy did recently when he played for the San-En Neophoenix during an injury-riddle campaign.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, however, said that Ravena can’t go ahead easily under the league’s Uniform Players Contract.
The former Ateneo star had signed an extension with the Road Warriors last year which was reportedly a three-year deal.
“May UPC siya, may kontrata so hindi pwede,” Marcial said moments after the Lakestars announced Ravena’s signing.
It’s still too early to say, however, if the PBA is intent on barring Ravena since the two sides have yet to formally discuss the matter.
Ravena, though, had told Marcial of the move in an informal conversion the other day.
NLEX at presstime has yet to speak on the matter, particularly if the move has the blessings of management.
While the Road Warriors can allow Ravena, he’ll still need the permission of the league before the Japan stint pushes through.
Rumors of a Japan stint have been swirling for months, with Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao even acknowledging that Ravena had received a “pretty good offer.”
Ravena has been present in NLEX’s practices in Pampanga since they started almost two weeks ago.