The PBA announced on Saturday afternoon that it is compelling NLEX Road Warriors guard Kiefer Ravena to honor his contract, which has two more years left, putting in jeopardy Ravena's plans of being playing for the Shiga Lakestars of the Japanese B.League.
"The board's decision follows specifically the philosophy of the importance of a contract. The board has decided that Kiefer has to honor his contract with NLEX and with the PBA. That's where we are," said PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas during a press conference with commissioner Willie Marcial and vice chairman Bobby Rosales of Terrafirma.
Vargas added that the PBA will relay the league's decision to the Japanese league and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas soon. As of posting, Ravena has not been informed yet, according to Rosales.
Vargas stated the sanctity of the Uniform Player's Contract (UPC), which binds his commitment with the Road Warriors and the PBA.
"Breaking the contract is very difficult for us to manage moving forward," furthered Vargas.
The league also considered granting a buyout of Ravena's contract, but the consequences might prove to be detrimental to the league, explained Vargas. "We were a little bit more careful if we would allow a foreign team to buy out a contract of a player," he added.
According to Vargas, no one from Japan's B.League has contacted the PBA yet about Ravena. The Lakestars had previously announced a press conference scheduled for Monday to introduce Ravena as its Asian import.
"As far as I know, they have not sent us any formal request," Vargas noted.
When asked about making revisions to some of the league's most controversial rules, the league remained mum on the matter. Recently, a study group was formed to tackle issues regarding live and expired contracts, leave of absence, and rookie eligibility.
"There are several issues that the study group has been trying to address. We are dealing here with all sorts of contracts. I cannot go to specifics yet because we haven't been able to present this to the Board [of Governors]," mentioned Rosales.
Despite the hubbub, Ravena has seemingly maintained a positive relationship with the Road Warriors, surmised Vargas. The PBA recently released a workout video of NLEX in Clark, Pampanga, among the participants was the 27-year-old.