NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena set to sign with Japan B.League's Shiga Lakestars

Kiefer Ravena is close to joining brother Thirdy in Japan as the B.League's latest Asian Player Quota import for the Shiga Lakestars in the 2021-22 season, the team announced Wednesday.

Ravena links up with a Shiga side that finished with a 23-36 record, good for 13th out of 20 teams in the 2020-21 season. With "The Phenom's" arrival, the Lakestars are hoping for improvement in the new season expected to tip off in September or October.

The signing ends months-long speculation on his next move since NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao confirmed that teams in the Japanese league had offered his star guard a contract.

Guiao previously said that Ravena had mentioned a proposal as early as December 2020, just over a month removed since their PBA "bubble" stint ended.

"He said he wanted to talk to me about something and I said, 'Is that serious?' and he was silent," narrated the fiery mentor. "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 has undoubtedly been the brightest star for the Road Warriors, putting up averages of 19.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and a steal in the last Philippine Cup. But since he is signed through a three-year Uniform Player's Contract, he will first need to secure clearance from NLEX and the PBA.

Thirdy, who recently signed a multi-year deal with San-En NeoPhoenix, tweeted his elation about older brother's move.

"See you next season brodie!" said Thirdy.

Shiga is scheduled to introduce their newest playmaker in the morning of June 7.

The NLEX Road Warriors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.