KIEFER Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks couldn't wait to link up with other Filipino imports in the Asia All-Stars in the 2023 Japan B.League All-Star Weekend.
"I'm definitely excited. Those are my brothers. We represent the same roots and just to be able to represent our country in such a prestigious level like this in the B.League, we can't be thankful enough for it," said Parks, who plays for the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.
See Thirdy Ravena's double-double helps end San-En's four-game slump
It's a year in the making for the Pinoys after last year's midseason festivities were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also an opportunity for Kiefer to team up with his brother Thirdy for the first time in Japan.
"Playing with my brother for our first All-Star Game is really special. So hopefully we can bring pride and joy to all Filipinos watching at home and here in Japan who can watch the game in Mito. I'm very excited personally to battle it out with my brothers," said the Shiga Lakes playmaker.
It has been an up-and-down season for the Pinoys in the league, with only Parks' team figuring among the top teams.
But in terms of adjustment, the Asian imports have made a good account of themselves in terms of blending in to their new environment. A proof to that is Matthew Wright already making a splash in his first season with Kyoto Hannaryz.
"Everybody's doing well. I feel like they're fitting in to their roles and I know that for other people, the first year is the toughest in terms of adjustment but everybody's adjusting well," said Parks.
Injuries, though, have plagued the Pinoys this season with the most notable being Dwight Ramos suffering an ankle sprain which has forced him to miss the last 18 games for Levanga Hokkaido.
Despite these hindrances, Ravena believes that it only sets the Pinoys up for a stronger showing in the second half of the season.
"It's tough," he said. "It's a long season but is a good opportunity for us to redeem ourselves. As long as we stay healthy, I believe we can help our teams in the second half of the season."