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Philippine Embassy in Japan Welcomes Filipino Basketball Stars Playing in the B.League

Philippine Embassy DCM Robespierre Bolivar receives an autographed commemorative basketball jersey bearing Kiefer Ravena’s player number.

07 December 2021 – Deputy Chief of Mission Robespierre Bolivar received Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Kiefer Ravena at a courtesy call today at the Philippine Embassy.

During the call, DCM Bolivar recalled that the Philippine Embassy is very proud of the PBA stars now playing in Japan’s nascent basketball league. “I remember a time when the PBA hosted a lot of foreign players in its ranks. Now, it’s the Filipino athletes’ turn to showcase their celebrated basketball prowess here in Japan,” he noted.

When asked about some of his most memorable experiences playing in the B. League, Mr. Ravena mentioned seeing many Filipinos cheering in the audience. “And there were even Japanese fans were waving the Philippine flag during many of our games,” he stated.

“This is sports diplomacy at work – where Filipinos and Japanese foster greater mutual understanding through basketball,” DCM Bolivar added. “2021 is a banner year for the Filipino athlete, especially in Japan. Just a few months ago, we had a historic medal haul in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Now, PBA stars are making waves in the B. League.”

Currently in Japan on a one-year contract with the Shiga Lakestars Team, Kiefer Ravena is one of the 8 Filipino professional basketball players now fielded to various teams in Japan’s B. League. Other players, such as his brother Thirdy Ravena, Kenmark Carino, and Kobe Paras are also now in Japan.