In a sudden turn of events, NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena was finally given clearance by the PBA to join his brother Thirdy in Japan.
The league had previously denied the request of the former Gilas Pilipinas player due to an existing contract with the Road Warriors.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial made the announcement in a press conference on Saturday in the presence of Ravena, NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre and team lawyer Jan David Garcia.
Marcial bared that league’s board of governors have decided to give the green light on Ravena’s overseas stint following the mutual decision of the former Ateneo de Manila standout and Road Warriors management to terminate the Uniform Players Contract (UPC) signed by both parties just last September.
Among the conditions set are for Ravena to finish the on-going 2021 Philippine Cup with NLEX and to return to the country to play for the Road Warriors anew after his one-year deal with the Shiga Lakestars expires.
The existing 3-year contract will officially be terminated after NLEX’s stint in the All-Filipino conference and a new one shall be signed upon his return.
The Road Warriors, as per Marcial, will be fined an undisclosed amount for allowing Ravena to sign with a Japan B.League team despite an existing contract and UPC with the league.
“We understand Kiefer’s pursuit for personal development and the desire to showcase the Filipino brand of basketball overseas by suiting up for the Shiga Lakestars. We gave Kiefer our conditional support in fulfilling his dreams of playing abroad,” said NLEX management in a prepared press statement read by Dulatre.
“Ever since the news on Kiefer’s Japan stint came out, the PBA, of which the Road Warriors is an integral part, was unfairly subjected to negative public sentiment and scrutiny even though it had no knowledge of the situation. We apologize to the PBA for being dragged into this commotion.”
Ravena also released a statement of his own.
“I have learned a lot since my Japanese team, Shiga Lakestars, announced my signing with them last June 2021. Looking back, I should have sought clearance from the PBA before signing with Shiga. I understand the UPC is viewed a tripartite agreement by and with the PBA and that my signing with Shiga could have caused legal repercussions. This caused undue controversy and bad vibes with the PBA, which I know is only looking out for the best interests of Philippine basketball and for us players.”
“Mga Boss and Comm., hindi ko po sinadya na dagdagan po ang sakit sa ulo niyo. Sorry po.”