Thirdy Ravena (B.League photo)

Six Filipino players return to action this weekend after Japan’s B.League first division took a two-week break due to the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Ray Parks Jr. and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins face the Susanoo Magic while Kobe Paras tries to help Niigata Albirex end its slump opposite the Akita Northern Happinets to lead a number of two-game series on Saturday and Sunday.

Dwight Ramos and the Toyama Grouses face the Ryukyu Golden Kings, Matthew Aquino and the Shinshu Brave Warriors battle the Utsunomiya Brex while Javi Gomez de Liano and the Ibaraki Robots will have their hands full against the defending champion Chiba Jets.

Kiefer Ravena and the Shiga Lakestars won’t be playing until Sunday when they collide with the Shibuya Sun Rockers for a pair of matches.

His younger brother Thirdy, however, will not be in uniform for San-En Neophoenix against the Mikawa Sea Horses due to a two-game suspension handed to him two weeks ago.

Thirdy was banned after smashing a signboard following a heartbreaking loss to Ramos and the Grouses last Nov. 14.

Almost all teams with Filipino cagers on their roster are hoping to climb out of the struggles in the Japanese league’s 2021-22 season.

Paras’ Niigata and Gomez de Liano’s Ibaraki share the cellar at 2-12, Thirdy’s Neophoenix are at 3-11, Ramos’ Grouses carry a 4-10 card while Kiefer’s Lakestars sit at 6-8.

Parks and the Diamond Dolphins carry a respectable 8-6 record while Aquino’s Brave Warriors have a 9-5 slate.

Meanwhile, Juan Gomez de Liano and Kemark Carino will get a chance to play against each other for the first time when their teams face off in the second division.

Gomez de Liano’s Earthfriends Tokyo Z meet Carino’s Aomori Wat’s for a two-game set on Saturday and Sunday.

Tokyo Z holds a 2-15 record while the Wat’s are at 1-16 for the worst record in the B.League’s second-tier.

Source: Manila Bulletin (