Jay Washington to play for Ryukyu in Japan B.League
MANILA, Philippines — Jay Washington has inked a deal with the Ryukyu Golden Kings ahead of the 2022-23 Japan B.League season.
Ryukyu, the runner-up of the previous B.League season, on Thursday welcomed the 40-year-old PBA veteran as its Asian import.
Washington, a two-time PBA Best Player of the Conference, last played for Blackwater in the 2021 PBA Governor’s Cup.
The 6-foot-7 forward, who also played for TNT, San Miguel, GlobalPort, and Rain or Shine, won four PBA championships in his 16 years in the league including last season’s Philippine Cup reign by the Katropa before he got traded to Blackwater for Carl Bryan Cruz.
The former No.1 overall pick is excited for his first overseas stint in Japan, joining the Golden Kings, who finished with the best record last season with a 49-7 record before losing to Utsunomiya Brex in the Finals.
“I am so excited to be joining your incredible team for this upcoming 2022-2023 season! This was an amazing season, but there are greater goals for us to reach and I am excited to work towards them,” Washington said in a statement.
“I am proud to play for such a great organization and look forward to our continued success. I will work hard and give my all for the championship!”
Ryukyu is elated to have the PBA veteran as it needs a big man to plug in the hole left by Hugh Watanabe, who is still recovering from an injury. The team is also leaning on Washington’s familiarity with Philippine basketball for the East Asia Super League, where they are grouped against the Filipino’s former team and newly-crowned Philippine Cup champions, San Miguel Beermen.
#42 ジェイ・ワシントン選手 契約(新規)のお知らせ
— 琉球ゴールデンキングス公式 (@RyukyuKings) September 8, 2022
Washington and the Kings will face the Beermen on November 2 in Manila.
“The reinforcement is the big reason. It will be tough in an environment that the Kings have never experienced before. A fight is expected. I hope we can overcome adversity by adding experienced veteran players,” the team wrote.
Washington also played for the Filipino squad, Pretty Huge, in the 3×3 Basketball Thai Super League last June.
Washington joins ex-PBA players Matthew Wright of Kyoto, Kiefer Ravena of Shiga, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. of Nagoya, and Greg Slaughter of Division 2’s Fukuoka in taking their talents to Japan.
Ten Filipino players are set to play in the B.League including Thirdy Ravena of San-En NeoPhoenix, Dwight Ramos of Levanga Hokkaido, and Justine Baltazar of Hiroshima Dragonflies as well as second division imports Kobe Paras of Altiri Chiba and Jordan Heading of Nagasaki.
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