MORE PINOYS SA JAPAN B-LEAGUE

Thirdy Ravena

ANG desisyon ni Thirdy Ravena na maglaro sa Japan Basketball League ay maaaring magbukas ng pintuan para sa maraming Pinoy basketball players.

Matapos ang matagumpay na collegiate career kung saan tinulungan niya ang Ate­neo de Manila University na magwagi ng tatlong  sunod na UAAP titles, si Ravena ay nagpasiya na talikuran ang PBA Draft at ituloy ang oportunidad sa ibang bansa.

Noong nakaraang linggo ay inanunsiyo ni Ravena ang pagsabak niya sa B-League, kung saan maglalaro siya para sa San-En NeoPhoenix, isang first division team.

Naniniwala ang kanyang boss, si Phoenix Co., Ltd. chief executive Kenjiro Hongo, na maraming Pinoy pa ang susunod kay Ravena.

“I believe that a lot of Filipino (players) will join the B-League, and hopefully, they will succeed,” wika ni Hongo sa isang press conference kung saan pormal na ipinakilala si Ravena bilang pinakabago nilang player.

Ang pagpirma ni Ravena ay sa ilalim ng “Asian Player Quota” rules ng liga, isang sistema na nagpapahintulot sa mga koponan na kumuha Asian imports.

“Implemented just this season, the system was done to enhance competitive abilities by matching with various Asian players in daily games, and to expand business in the Asian market,” ayon sa liga.

Si Ravena ang unang player na pumirma sa liga sa ilalim ng bagong rules.

“I couldn’t believe when I saw Thirdy,” ani Hongo. “It’s like an American (player). I couldn’t believe that.”

Tinawag din ni Hongo si Ra­vena bilang “the best player in his country.”

Sa kanyang panig ay sinabi ni Ra­vena na may mga player na sa Filipinas na handang dalhin ang kanilang talento sa Ja-pan.

“There are a couple of guys in my head, but you know, they’ve pursued other interests,” aniya.

“(There are) some actually, but they’re not allowed just because they’re not fully Asian, but I do know a couple of people who can play in Japan.”

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