FILIPINO basketball stalwarts in Japan get a chance to still strut their stuff as the B.League goes online for its canceled All-Star festivities starting today in Okinawa.
Kiefer Ravena of the Shiga Lakestars lead the cast of local aces to be featured in a virtual show at 6 p.m. (Manila time) in place of the actual All-Star Game and side events at the Okinawa Arena.
Included in the two-day event is a meet-and-greet via Zoom with Filipino and other fans from Indonesia, South Korea, China and Chinese Taipei.
Joining Kiefer in the alternative All-Star event are Thirdy Ravena (San-en), Ray Parks, Jr. (Nagoya), Dwight Ramos (Toyama), Kobe Paras (Niigata), Kemark Cariño (Aomori Wat’s), Javi (Ibaraki) and Juan Gomez de Liaño (Earthfriends Tokyo Z).
They were supposed to banner the B.League Asia All-Star along with other Asian imports led by Indonesian Brandon Jawato (Utsunomiya), Korean Yang Jae-min (Shinshu) and Jin Liu of China (Nishinomiya).
All players are under the Asian Player Quota as part of B.League’s new program aimed at raising the level of play in Japan and the Asian region.
The Asia All-Star were scheduled to play the Rising Stars made up of promising locals including Matthew Aquino (Shinshu), who is not considered as an import due to his Japanese heritage.
The B.League last week called off the All-Star Game slated for this weekend in Okinawa along with other regular season games last week following a spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases among the players. — John Bryan Ulanday