11 Filipino imports named to Japan B.League Asian All-Star team


FILE–Levanga Hokkaido’s Dwight Ramos. Photo from Dwight Ramos’ Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas stars Dwight Ramos, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena headline the 11 Filipino players of the Asian All-Stars in the 2023 B.League All-Star Weekend on January 13 in Mito, Japan.

Levanga Hokkaido star Ramos, Parks of Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, Kiefer Ravena of Shiga Lakes, and Thirdy Ravena of San-En NeoPhoenix are leading the squad composed of Asian Players Quota, which will battle the league’s Rising Stars.

Matthew Wright of Kyoto Hannaryz, Justine Baltazar of Hiroshima Dragonflies, and Jay Washington of Ryukyu Golden Kings were also called up, while second division Filipino imports Kobe Paras of Altiri Chiba, Jordan Heading of Nagasaki Velca, Roosevelt Adams of Kagawa Five Arrows, and Greg Slaughter of Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka will also team up with their compatriots.

However, Washington was released by Ryukyu on Wednesday due to the sudden change in the East Asia Super League’s format.

“Assuming that the team will need to play in a different way from the league, we acquired Washington in order to participate in the EASL (East Asian Super League). However, EASL’s scheduled league games were canceled one after another, and Washington’s turn to play decreased sharply,” the Golden Kings said in a statement.

The 10 Filipino players, except for Washington, suited up for Gilas in the past Fiba windows.

Also teaming up with the Filipino stars are China’s Wang Weijia (Akita Northern Happinets), Koreans Yang Jaemin (Utsunomiya Brex) and Gibeom Cheon (Fukushima Fitebinds), and Indonesian-American Brandon Jawato (SeaHorses Mikawa).

Kiefer Ravena will also see action in the Skills Challenge against  Yuki Togashi of the Chiba Jets, Yuma Fujii of Kawasaki Brave Thunders, and Yuki Kawamura of Yokohama B-Corsairs, Ibaraki Robots pair of Asahi Tajima and Atsunobu Hirao, and Haruki Sudo of Ryukyu Golden Kings’ under-18 team.

Heading will join the Three-Point Contest against Akatsuki Five members Makoto Hiejima of Utsunomiya Brex, Kosuke Kanamaru of San-En NeoPhoenix, and Takumi Saito of Nagoya Diamond Dolphins, as well as Ryoma Hashimoto of Levanga Hokkaido, Takatoshi Furukawa of Akita Northern Happinets, and Christopher Smith of Chiba Jets.

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