KIEFER Ravena will still play for NLEX in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup before going to Japan to play for the Shiga Lakestars in the B.League.
That was supposed to be the plan for the Road Warriors after SPIN.ph learned the 27-year-old guard talked to coach Yeng Guiao during the team’s training camp in Clark, Pampanga last week about his planned stint overseas.
The Philippine Cup is tentatively scheduled to open by the last week of June or early in July, good enough for Ravena to still play out the first year of the new contract he signed with the Road Warriors last September.
The all-Filipino conference is set for a three to four-month run or depending how deep NLEX could go forward in the tournament.
The B. League meanwhile, is set for a September kickoff.
“Lalaro pa siya this conference, pero by next (conference), hindi na,” said an NLEX insider privy to the negotiations between Ravena and management.
Guiao was already aware of Ravena’s intention to play in Japan as early as the first quarter of the year. And while he has no problem with it, the veteran coach nonetheless advised his prized guard to seek the approval of the PBA first.
“Sinabihan siya (Ravena) ni coach Yeng sa amin okay lang kami, pero PBA ang dapat kausapin ni Kiefer,” added the same source.
Guiao’s fatherly advice was understandable since Ravena has an existing UPC (Uniform Players’ Contract) with the league.
As it is, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial already stressed that under league rules, Ravena isn’t allowed to play in Japan since that is tantamount to breach of contract.
Even if it meant Ravena would resume playing for NLEX after the B. League season.
“Pero babalik naman siya ulit after makalaro sa Japan,” the source added.