Dwight Ramos will not be playing for Ateneo.
Ramos has decided to turn professional after signing with B.League Division I team Toyama Grouses.
“I am very excited to play in the city of Toyama. It is a dream to play in such a beautiful city and country in Japan,” said Ramos.
“I hope to win a lot of games and bring pride to the city of Toyama together with my new teammates.”
Ramos, 23, had two years of eligibility for Ateneo.
Over the past year, the 6-foot-4 utility player became the go-to player for Gilas Pilipinas.
Back in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers that saw the Philippines sweep the group phase, Ramos was the constant and consistent player of Gilas, norming 13.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.
A groin injury though forced him out of the Belgrade Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
And his arrival to Gilas was a long-time coming.
Back in 2018, Ramos was named to Chot Reyes’s 23-for-2023 list — an elite group of prospects who can be groomed for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Ramos has always been on the radar of the national team ever since his time at Walnut High School.
In college, he played two years with Cal State Fullerton, a Division I school. He later transferred to Division 2 school Cal Poly Pomona in 2018.
In 2019, Ramos decided to come back home and play for Ateneo.
Ramos was eligible for the UAAP Season 83 tournament but it was ultimately scrapped due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He only played a couple of tournaments for Ateneo from 2019-20 – the 2019 Jesuit Athletic Meet and the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League.
According to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation, Ramos obtained his Japanese visa during the last week of August. He also did not enroll in Ateneo last week, according to another source.
Ramos will join a strong team in Toyama that finished fourth in the East District with a 43-16 record. They then bowed to Ryukyu in the quarterfinals.
The team coached by Honoo Hamaguchi is headlined by a familiar name to Filipinos in former TNT import Joshua Smith. Toyama’s second import is Julian Mavunga, a Zimbabwean-American who normed 20.7 points, 7.4 assists, and 7.3 rebounds a season ago.
Besides Ramos, other newcomers to the Grouses are Keijuro Matsui (Kyoto), Yuta Okada (Mikawa), Ryumo Ono (Shinshu), and Kevin Hareyama (Shiga). The team lost Keishi Matsuwaki, Yuta Okada, Kosuke Hashimoto, Masashi Joho, and Satoru Maeda during the off-season.
Toyama will open its season against Shinshu on October 2.
“The team made the playoffs last season, I hope to contribute to a championship run this season,” he said.
“Basketball in Japan is growing every year and I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to play in such an amazing place.”
Ramos is the eighth Filipino to play in the B.League after Thirdy Ravena (San-En NeoPhoenix), Kiefer Ravena (Shiga Lakestars), Juan Gomez de Liaño (Earthfriends Tokyo Z), Bobby Ray Parks Jr. (Nagoya Diamond Dolphins), Javi Gomez de Liaño (Ibaraki Robots), Kemark Carino (Aomori Wat’s), and Kobe Paras (Niigata Albirex BB).
Titan Management Group sealed the deal for Ramos.