MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Basketball Association stressed that its current rules prohibit star point guard Kiefer Ravena from playing in the Japan B. League.
In an interview with CNN Philippines' Sports Desk, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial asserted his earlier statement that under PBA rules, the basketball phenom cannot play for another league while under contract, adding that he had already told Ravena this personally.
"Nagkita kami, noon pa lang sabi ko, 'Kiefer hindi talaga puwede, kasi may kontrata ka' (When we last saw each other, I already told him then, 'Kiefer it's really not allowed because you have a contract.'), Marcial said.
"We have in the league what we call a uniform players contract. If he has a contract in the PBA, then he can't [play somewhere else]," Marcial said in Filipino on Thursday.
Both Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars have already announced the 27-year-old's move to join the team in the Japan B. League.
Marcial afterwards voiced his disapproval over the move earlier, as the NLEX Road Warriors guard just signed a fresh three-year contract with his team.
Ravena thanks PBA, NLEX for 'support'
Despite the contract issue, Ravena, in a post published Wednesday night, thanked the Road Warriors and the league for apparently supporting his decision.
"To the PBA, Comm. Willy Marcial and The Board of Governors, thank you for always supporting me. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity you have given us athletes," he said.
"I would also like to thank my NLEX Road Warriors Family and Management. To Boss MVP, Boss Rod Franco, Boss Ronald, Coach Yeng and all my teammates, maraming salamat."
But in a statement posted that same night, the Road Warriors management also said that players were "duty-bound to abide by the rules and regulations that govern the league."
"The NLEX Road Warriors stand by the tripartite agreement between our organization, the PBA, and the individual player, which is enshrined in the Uniform Player Contract," the statement read.
"The Japan engagement of Kiefer will need to conform to the terms of the UPC as well as the rules and policies of the PBA."
Ravena posted averaged 19.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the Road Warriors in last year’s Philippine Cup.
His younger brother Thirdy currently plays for NeoPhoenix in the same Japan league.
"I am and will always be proud of this family. Thank you for giving me your blessing and backing me in this next stage of my career," Ravena said.
— NLEX Road Warriors (@ArangkadaNLEX) June 2, 2021
– With a report from The STAR
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com