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FILIPINO stalwarts bannered by Kiefer Ravena of the Shiga Lakestars and Ray Parks, Jr. of the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins will join forces in one team in the Japan B.League All-Star on Jan. 14-15 in Okinawa.
Messrs. Kiefer and Parks will lead the B.League Asia All-Star squad along with Thirdy Ravena (San-en NeoPhoenix), Kobe Paras (Niigata Albirex BB), Dwight Ramos (Toyama Grouses) and Javi Gomez de Liano (Ibaraki Robots), who are all playing in Division I.
Though they are in Division II, Messrs. Juan Gomez de Liano of Earthfriends Tokyo Z and Kemark Carino of Aomori Wat’s have also been included in the squad composed of Asian standouts under the B.League’s Asian Player Quota program.
“I’m excited to play against the Rising Stars of the B.League, and of course with my Filipino brothers and from the other different countries that are being represented here,” said Mr. Ravena.
Aside from Filipino players, the Asia All-Star will parade Weijia Wang (Akita) and Liu Jin (Nishinomiya) of China, Brandon Jawato (Utsunomiya) of Indonesia, Yang Jae-Min (Shinshu) of South Korea, and Lin Chih-Wei (Fukuoka) of Chinese Taipei.
They will be up against the Japanese-laden Rising Stars, where Matthew Aquino (Shinshu) will suit up. The son of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Marlou Aquino has been playing as a local in the B.League due to his Japanese roots.
The Asia-Rising Stars Game will be on Jan. 14 at the Okinawa Arena before the main All-Star Game on Jan. 15 featuring B. White and B. Black All-Stars.
Kiefer and Thirdy will also see action in the Skills Challenge, Javi in Three-Point Contest and Mr. Paras in the Slam Dunk Contest. — John Bryan Ulanday