KIEFER Ravena is free to play in the Japan B. League.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial made the announcement in a press conference Saturday in the presence of Ravena, team manager Ronald Dulatre and NLEX lawyer Jan David Garcia.
Marcial said the league's Board of Governors approved of Ravena's overseas stint after the NLEX star guard and NLEX management agreed to terminate the Uniform Players Contract (UPC) signed by both parties in September last year.
The league commissioner, however, stressed Kiefer's case will not be a precedent. Marcial also said that NLEX will be fined with an undisclosed amount.
The league had previously discouraged Ravena to play for the Shiga Lakerstar in the Japan B. League contending he is duty bound to honor his live contract with the Road Warriors and the PBA.
But the NLEX management appealed the Ravena's case to the league Board of Governors.
NLEX said terminating Ravena's 3-year contract signed in September last year involved certain conditions acceptable to Ravena.
Part of the conditions is for Ravena to play for the Road Warriors until the end of the end of the on-going Philippine Cup after which his contract will officially be terminated.
The NLEX star guard also agreed to return after his one-year stint with the Shiga Lakestars and sign a new contract with NLEX.
"We understand Kiefer's pursuit for personal development and the desire to showcase the Filipino brand of basketball overseas by suiting up for the Shiga Lakestars. We gave Kiefer our conditional support in fulfilling his dreams of playing abroad," the NLEX management said in a prepared press statement read by Dulatre to the media.
NLEX also apologized to the PBA for the troubles caused by Ravena's desire to play overseas.
"Ever since the news on Kiefer's Japan stint came out, the PBA, of which the Road Warriors is an integral part, was unfairly subjected to negative public sentiment and scrutiny even though it had no knowledge of the situation. We apologize to the PBA for being dragged into this commotion," the statement added.
Ravena acknowledge the controversy made him realized the consequence of his action.
"I have learned a lot since my Japanese team, Shiga Lakestars, announced my signing with them last June 2021. Looking back, I should have sought clearance from the PBA before signing with Shiga," Ravena said in a prepared statement.
He added: "I understand the UPC is viewed a tripartite agreement by and with the PBA and that my signing with Shiga could have caused legal repercussions. This caused undue controversy and bad vibes with the PBA, which I know is only looking out for the best interests of Philippine basketball and for us players.
"Mga Boss and Comm., hindi ko po sinadya na dagdagan po ang sakit sa ulo niyo. Sorry po," he said.