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Ravena heads for Japan

Thirdy Ravena will suit up as an Asian import in the Japanese B.League.

THIRDY RAVENA is turning pro. But the former Ateneo star is not bringing his act to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Japan’s B.League announced on Wednesday that Ravena will suit up for San-En NeoPhoenix in the league’s upcoming season.

The 23-year-old ex-king Blue Eagle, younger brother of NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena, signed with the Japanese squad to fulfill his dream of turning professional in a foreign league.

The three-time University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion and Finals Most Valuable Player will be the Japanese team’s first Asian import for the 2020-2021 season.

According to the league’s statement, “Asian player quotas” is a new competition system which recruits players from the continent to improve competitiveness and “expand business in the Asian market.”

“B.League has engaged communication with foreign countries to promote internationalization since the first season in 2016,” the statement said. “We are very pleased to welcome Ravena to B.League for the first year of Asian player quotas. We will continue to collaborate and cooperate with Asian partners to develop basketball in Asia.”

Ravena decided to skip the 2020 PBA Rookie Draft where he is a projected top pick in favor of the Japanese league.

The B.League plans to open in October. NeoPhoenix finished with a season-worst 5-36 won-loss record.

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