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    Ray Parks B.League
    Ray Parks is one of six Pinoys in the first division.
    PHOTO: Nagoya Diamond Dolphins

    BOBBY Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins usher in the new year as the 2022-23 Japan B.League season tips off this Sept. 29.

    Ray Parks, Nagoya open season

    The Diamond Dolphins will open their campaign at home at Dolphins Arena as they face SeaHorses Mikawa.

    Only six Filipino players remain in the top flight of the Japanese professional league, namely Parks, Thirdy Ravena (San-En NeoPhoenix), Kiefer Ravena (Shiga Lakes), Dwight Ramos (Levanga Hokkaido), Matthew Aquino (Shinshu Brave Warriors), and new signee Justine Baltazar (Hiroshima Dragonflies).

    Ramos, who played for the Toyama Grouses last season, will make his Hokkaido debut on Oct. 1 at home at Hokkai Kitayell against the Akita Northern Happinets.

    Thirdy's San-En will also have its curtain raiser at home against the Kawasaki Brave Thunders at Hamamatsu Arena, Baltazar makes his Japan debut at home for Hiroshima as it meets the Yokohama B-Corsairs at Hiroshima Sun Plaza, and Kiefer's rebranded Shiga Lakes will start their season on the road against the Gunma Crane Thunders at Ota City Sports Park Citizen Gymnasium.

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    The Japan B.League has also undergone a realignment with the teams in the first division now at 24.

    Defending champion Utsunomiya Brex headline the Eastern Conference as they will be joined by Chiba Jets, Alvark Tokyo, Akita Northern Happinets, Gunma Crane Thunders, Levanga Hokkaido, Ibaraki Robots, and newly promoted Sendai 89ers.

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    Kawasaki Brave Thunders spearhead the Central Conference which also consists of SeaHorses Mikawa, SunRockers Shibuya, Shinshu Brave Warriors, Toyama Grouses, Yokohama B-Corsairs, San-En NeoPhoenix, and Niigata Albirex BB.

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      Last season's top seed Ryukyu Golden Kings will banner the Western Conference as they are grouped with Shimane Susanoo Magic, Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, Hiroshima Dragonflies, Osaka Evessa, Kyoto Hannaryz, Shiga Lakes, and second division champions Fighting Eagles Nagoya.

      Meanwhile, Kobe Paras (Altiri Chiba) and Jordan Heading (Nagasaki Velca) will play in the second division this year.

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      Ray Parks is one of six Pinoys in the first division.
      PHOTO: Nagoya Diamond Dolphins
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