Ray Parks’ Nagoya opens new B.League season
MANILA, Philippines – Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins kick off the 2022-23 B.League season against the Seahorses Mikawa on September 29 at their home stadium.
Parks, who is set for his second season in Japan, will be the first of the five Filipino imports in Division 1 to play this season after the league released the schedule of opening games on Thursday.
The former UAAP MVP out of National University was the lone Filipino player to reach the playoffs last season.
The B.League also welcomed two new teams, the Sendai 89ers and Fighting Eagles Nagoya, who got promoted to Division 1 from B2.
Kiefer Ravena is also playing his season in Japan with the Shiga Lakes, who changed their name from Lakestars and will have a new logo.
The 28-year-old Ravena and Shiga battle Niigata on October 8, while his Gilas teammate Dwight Ramos will be wearing a new jersey, leading the Levanga Hokkaido in his second B.League season after he previously played for the Toyama Grouses.
Hokkaido opens its campaign on October 1 against Akita, as Thirdy, the younger brother of Kiefer, will make his third season debut with the San-En NeoPhoenix against Kawasaki on the same day.
All eyes are on Justine Baltazar as he reinforces the Hiroshima Dragonflies in his first season in Japan.
The La Salle star and Hiroshima take on Yokohama on October 1.
So far, only five Filipino players have signed contracts in the B.League Division 1. Two more cagers are playing in B2 with Kobe Paras having a fresh start with the Altiri Chiba and former Taipei import Jordan Heading taking his act to Japan with the Nagasaki Velca.
Javi Gomez de Liano of Ibaraki was drafted by the Terrafirma Dyip in the PBA, while his brother Juan and Kemark Carino, who had stints in B2, are leading Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League.