Politics

Kiefer Ravena can’t return to PBA in next three years

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KIEFER RAVENA — B LEAGUE

KIEFER Ravena’s Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) comeback won’t be happening for the next three years.

This is Mr. Ravena, who signed a fresh contract with Japan B.League club Shiga, will now have to go through the PBA’s “waiting period” for its players who pack their bags to ply their trade overseas.

Mr. Ravena, with blessing from the PBA and his mother club NLEX, played for Shiga last season and averaged 13.16 points, 5.84 assists, 2.41 rebounds and 1.48 steals in 56 outings.

After his first stint in Japan, he returned home to reunite with the Road Warriors in the ongoing Philippine Cup but failed to strike a deal with the team. Mr. Ravena proposed to play one conference only, but NLEX wanted him for a full year.

Terms of his new Shiga pact are not disclosed but Mr. Ravena is likely to be on board while his PBA “sit-out” is in effect.

The 28-year-old Mr. Ravena’s status in the PBA is similar to that of Ray Parks, who inked a renewal with Nagoya for the next two seasons.

As with the cases of PBA stars like Messrs. Ravena and Parks, the PBA is enforcing a policy on eligible college graduates who decide not to apply for the draft and play overseas first.

According to Willie Marcial, these players must enter their names within three years of their draft eligibility. Otherwise, they face an additional two-year wait before being allowed in.

This particular rule applies to Mr. Ravena’s brother Thirdy and La Salle’s Justin Baltazar, who are both in the B.League. — Olmin Leyba