Friday, October 8 2021

NEW debuts await the eight Filipino players who will compete in B.League’s 2021-22 season.

With the exception of Thirdy Ravena, all of the other Pinoys are gearing up for the next chapters of their basketball careers as they all hope to make a name for themselves overseas.

But before our kababayans touch this leather in the land of the rising sun, Spin.ph is here to break down what you need to know and can expect from these clubs.

Third Ravena – San-En NeoPhoenix

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Let’s start with the Filipino pioneer who evolves into B.League.

Thirdy is entering his second season in Japan after an injury-filled first year where he only played 18 games and scored 9.1 points on 36% shots, to go with 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 22 , 8 minutes. His presence was sorely missed as San-En stumbled to 19th place after only amassing a 12-47 win-loss record.

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In response, the NeoPhoenix reshuffled their roster, calling on Americans Robert Carter and Justin Knox, as well as German winger Elias Harris to support the team coached by Branislav Vicentic.

Japan national team center Atsuya Ota and veteran Shingo Okada are also back in the saddle, but young players like Kazuma Tsuya are also expected to contribute more for San-En this season.

Kiefer Ravena – Shiga Lakestars

After much controversy, Kiefer has also moved to Japan where he is poised to provide veteran leadership to a relatively young Shiga team.

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The Lakestars finished in 13th place last year with their 23-36 list and the additions this season should be of great help in reversing that fate.

It all starts with Ravena, who has been superb in his four-game streak with the NLEX Road Warriors as he scored 15.6 points on 42% shots from deep, to go with 6.5 assists, 3, 8 boards and 1.8 interceptions in 29.6 minutes on the floor of the 2021 PBA Philippines Cup.

But he won’t be alone as Shiga has also undergone a full facelift, signing British striker Ovie Soko, Argentina banger Novar Gadson and former Xavier bigman Sean O’Mara as new reinforcements under the leadership of the MP. of the Spanish national team Luis Guil Torres.

Local support, however, could make the difference for the Lakestars, who only brought Daichi Nomoto and Tomonori Imagawa back last season and got six new faces to revamp their roster.

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Bobby Ray Parks – Nagoya Diamond Dolphins

Nagoya came close to making the playoffs last year, finishing with a 32-24 card to be tied for ninth place with Alvark Tokyo.

Signing Parks should help the Diamond Dolphins break through the proverbial glass ceiling.

The second-gen star looked stunning on his final round with TNT KaTropa in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, where he scored 22.4 points from 46% shots from deep, to go with 7.8 rebounds, 3 , 1 assists and 1.5 steals in 39.7 minutes and a second place.

Nagoya also added more cap to the squad, bringing in Shayne Whittington, Coty Clarke and Scott Eatherton as imports while keeping national team player Tenketsu Harimoto.

Former Shiga coach Shawn Dennis will be the prime contractor for the Diamond Dolphins this season.

Kobe Paras – Niigata Albirex BB

Last year was not the best race for Niigata as it only recorded a 16-38 record last season for a 17th place finish.

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Paras’ entry into the Albirex BB is expected to move the needle to the right end, with the all-round winger showing a lot of maturity in his last stint with Gilas Pilipinas despite just 3.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers..

Niigata would surely love to see the Paras taking off at the University of the Philippines, scoring 16.1 points on 34% shots, alongside 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals. to earn a nod from the iconic team in the final UAAP 82 season.

Luckily for the second-generation star, he will have the chance to learn from decorated mentor Fujitaka Hiraoka, who recently led the Gunma Crane Thunders to the Second Division Championship and the club’s subsequent promotion to the First Division.

Former NBA center Jeff Ayres and South African banger Tshilidzi Nephawe will also join the Albirex BB.

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If Niigata rings a bell for some Pinoy fans, it’s because the team faced TNT in the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 in Macau. However, only shooter Yuichi Ikeda remains with the squad in this match.

Dwight Ramos – Toyama Grouse

Among the talented Filipino clubs this season, only Ramos’ team Toyama made it through to the playoffs last year. The Grouses finished in fifth place with a 39-21 record, but fell in three hard-fought games to the four-seeded Ryukyu Golden Kings to advance to the quarter-finals.

Ramos should help change Toyama’s fortunes.

He tallied 13.8 points on 46% shots from deep, to go with 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals in 25.3 minutes to be without a doubt the star of Gilas in the playoffs. of the Fiba Asia Cup 2021.

Ramos also appears to be a perfect choice for the Grouses, who already have a solid frontline led by former TNT importer Joshua Smith, Zimbabwe center Julian Mavunga and US striker Richard Solomon, as well as two-time assistant leader of B. League Naoki Uto.

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Also among Toyama’s new faces this season are Kevin Hareyama, former national team member Keijuro Matsui and former Kyoto mentor Hannaryz Honoo Hamaguchi.

Javi Gomez de Liano – Ibaraki Robots

Speaking of the perfect fit, Javi also seems tailor-made for Ibaraki, who aims to show he belongs in the Premier League.

The Robots finished in third place with a 39-16 card in the Second Division, but beat the Saga Ballooners and Sendai 89ers to move up the B2 ranks before settling for a bridesmaid finish against the Gunma Crane. Thunders in the final.

Gomez’s precise shot of Liano should boost Ibaraki’s first foray into B1, especially with Javi coming off a stellar Gilas run where he had 10.7 points on a sizzling 50% clip from three, as well that 3.0 rebounds in just 16.9 minutes.

And he won’t be the only one to prove his worth, with the Robots also signing former Sendai slot player Eric Jacobsen, Canadian center Marc Trasolini and United States forward Chehales Tapscott to help in this year’s race.

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Coach Richard Glesmann has also called on former San-En NeoPhoenix center Takanobu Nishikawa and former Hiroshima Dragonflies center Daichi Taniguchi to revamp his roster for this season.

Juan Gomez de Liano – Earthfriends Tokyo Z

Juan Gomez from Liano dunk Gilas

No doubt Juan can provide an instant impact for the Earthfriends who finished a meager 15th place in B2 last year with their 12-46 record.

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But for fate to change in Tokyo, the team will need more Gomez de Liano, who just finished a run from Gilas where he scored 12.0 points on 47% of shots, alongside 3.0 rebounds. and 3.0 assists in 15.4 minutes in the Fiba Asia 2021. Cup qualifiers.

Fortunately, Juan won’t be a one-man show as he gets the chance to team up with an intriguing core led by Haitian striker Marc-Eddy Norelia and Americans Joshua Crawford and Pat Andree.

Spain’s mentor Hugo Lopez will also arrive to take the lead as Tokyo Z will also welcome newcomers like Japanese-American guard Mark Burton and striker Mie Birishibe.

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Kemark Carino – Aomori Wat’s

Kemark Carino Gilas

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Carino got his first glimpse of elite competition during his brief run with Gilas, where he tallied 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in just 13.6 minutes in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.

The question, however, is how to capitalize on the opportunities open to him, especially as he joins Aomori who finished bottom of the second division last year, taking a 7-51 record for a 16th place.

Truth be told, things can only get better for Carino and the Wats.

At Aomori, Carino will have the opportunity to learn how to play behind former TNT importer Michael Craig, as well as Anglo-Jamaican banger Ryan Richards and Canadian center Renaldo Dixon.

Captain Daichi Shinoyama, as well as Hayate Komasawa and Kiichi Kikuyama, should also mobilize to be able to get out of the cellar.

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