PBA says Kiefer Ravena playing abroad not allowed under his UPC

Kiefer Ravena might have to take care of some legalities first before being able to join the Shiga Lakestars in the Japanese B.League.

An existing contract with the NLEX Road Warriors binds Ravena from playing outside the PBA, commissioner Willie Marcial said Wednesday.

"Short and simple: he can't play (in Japan) because that's not allowed under the league's Uniform Players' Contract (UPC)," he said in Filipino.

The 27-year-old is tied down by a lengthy contract after inking a three-year extension with NLEX last September -- a month before leading the charge in the 2020 Philippine Cup for the Road Warriors, who narrowly missed the playoffs after finishing with a 5-6 record.

In 11 games, Ravena was stellar and averaged 19.4 points on 47.3 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.5 minutes per contest.

But on Wednesday, Shiga announced the Ravena signing, which would make him the third Filipino after his brother Thirdy and Philippine-born Edward Yamamoto of the Shinshu Brave Warriors.

Marcial said Ravena only informed him of the development on Tuesday.

"It was an informal conversation," shared Marcial.

It remains to be seen whether there will be any consequences to Ravena's new career move, but Marcial said the league will probably have formal discussions with the star guard soon.

"I can't say much right now because of the technicalities, but we will be talking soon," the commissioner said.