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Why Dwight Ramos left Ateneo to play in Japan’s B. League

Luisa Morales –

September 15, 2021 | 12:18pm

MANILA, Philippines – Many people were surprised when it was announced last week that Dwight Ramos had signed with Toyoma Grouses of Japan’s B. League.

This was because Ramos heading to Japan would mean the prospect would no longer be playing for the Ateneo Blue Eagles — a team he committed to in 2019.

But Ramos did not beat around the bush when it came to what led to his decision.

Coming clean on the recent episode of The Game, Ramos explained why he decided to leave the Blue Eagles’ nest.

Like many other life decisions made by athletes and non-athletes, Ramos’ move to Japan had been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The uncertainty of the UAAP, I really don’t know when it’s gonna happen,” said Ramos of what pushed him to go professional.

“I was looking forward to getting back to that everyday practice, consistent games, that was what I was looking for,” he added.

Ramos had two years of eligibility with the Blue Eagles in the UAAP, which would’ve made the reigning titlists an even more formidable team in future seasons.

But as the health crisis continues, Ramos was unable to find any regular basketball action apart from the national team, which he played for in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

So when the offer came from Toyoma, Ramos just couldn’t refuse it.

“I found a good team, one of the top teams in the B. League and they wanted me,” said Ramos.

“That’s how it all happened,” he added.

Like Ramos, two other players with remaining years of UAAP eligibility also came to Japan — UP’s Javi and Juan Gomez de Liaño.

Javi and Juan play for the Ibaraki Robots and Tokyo Z, respectively.

Also in the B. League is Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, Kemark Cariño, Kobe Paras, and Bobby Ray Parks Jr.

Six of the Filipino players play in Division I of the Japanese league.

Juan Gomez de Liaño and Cariño play in Division II.

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