NLEX Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao confirmed on Wednesday's episode of "The Game" that a Japan B.League team offered Kiefer Ravena a contract.
If it pushes through, Ravena would join younger brother Thirdy as an Asian Player Quota import in the fledgling basketball league.
Ravena was one of the brightest stars in what was a dim campaign for the Road Warriors inside the PBA bubble in Pampanga. He played all 11 games, and averaged 19.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and a steal. NLEX failed to make the postseason.
Guiao said Ravena told him about the proposal in December and prompted an impromptu trip to the veteran coach's house.
"He said he wanted to talk to me about something and I said, 'Is that serious?' and he was silent," Guiao said. "I think he had an offer in Japan. I think it was a really good offer. And he was thinking about it. But of course there are things that are going to make that reality a bit of a problem."
Ravena is currently under a three-year Uniform Player's Contract with NLEX that he signed in September. Guiao said that means Ravena is committed not only to the team, but also to the PBA. He would need to secure a clearance from the team and the league.
Guiao said that he does not want to get in the way of Ravena's career advancement, especially if it is as substantial as the offer from Japan. But he wants to remind his young star that he has an existing obligation with Asia's first professional league.
According to Guiao, Ravena has applied for a Japanese visa and is waiting for approval. However, he believes that his guard will not be able to pass his papers on time.
"So I said, 'that's good.' That's good because that's what we want," Guiao said in jest. "That was where we ended. I think even if he does complete his papers that's not going to automatically allow him to be able to play in Japan and ignore the contract he signed with us."