By JONAS TERRADO
The B.League of Japan has scheduled a season-opening series between the San-En Neophoenix and Shiga Lakestars in anticipation of a possible matchup between Thirdy Ravena and his older brother Kiefer.
Shiga will host San-En on Oct. 2 and 3 according to the official schedule released by the league which opens the door for a Ravena against Ravena showdown, provided Kiefer pushes through his Japan stint with the full blessing of the PBA.
It would be recalled that the elder Ravena was barred by the PBA to suit up for Shiga due to his ongoing contract with NLEX.
The Lakestars, however, have still included Ravena on their initial 12-man roster for the 2021-22 season, hinting that the situation remains at an impasse.
Meanwhile, Thirdy is hoping to start his second season in the Land of the Rising Sun healthy after his maiden campaign was saddled with a COVID-19 infection and injuries on his finger and knee.
Shiga’s next opponent after the first weekend of the season is another two-game homestand opposite the newly-promoted Ibaraki Robots, who recently signed University of the Philippines mainstay and Gilas Pilipinas pool member Javi Gomez de Liano to a contract.
Gomez de Liano makes his Japanese debut also on Oct. 2 and 3 with a two-game set against the Akita Northern Happinets.
His signing came weeks after younger brother and fellow UP star Juan Gomez de Liano signed with the B.League’s second division club Earthfriends Tokyo Z.