Dwight Ramos was introduced to the Japanese press by Levanga Hokkaido last week.
And the 24-year-old Filipino-American guard shared that it was Hokkaido’s pursuit of him that led him to sign with them instead of renewing with Toyama.
“[Levanga general manager] Takahiko [Kiyonaga] talked to me and he really believed in me and that’s what he said, that the coaches believed in me,” said Ramos, who averaged 10.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in 46 games last season.
“That’s really what brought me over here.”
“We are greatly happy to have Dwight Ramos on this team, the Levanga Hokkaido. He has a great physical ability, and we believe that he will contribute to the team both in offense and defense,” said Kiyonaga. “We believe that having him on this team will help the team make a step to get to a higher level.”
Last season, Ramos struggled to find consistency with the Grouses, who finished the season with a 24-35 record.
Hokkaido, meanwhile, was two rungs below Toyama, tallying a 21-35 slate.
But in his second season, the 6-foot-4 all-around winger says he is more ready with the B.League grind.
“My experience with the national team was great. Even during the off-season, I was able to learn from each game,” said Ramos, who played in the Asia Cup and four Qualifiers games during the off-season.
“I believe that this experience will definitely help me better this regular season.”
During his break, the hot topic has been the continuous exodus of Filipino players to overseas leagues.
Besides the original batch that flew out a year ago, players like SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, Rhenz Abando, Justine Baltazar, Greg Slaughter, Roosevelt Adams, and Matthew Wright ended up going abroad as well.
Ramos stressed that no one should stop players like him from working elsewhere.
After all, it’s different strokes for different folks.
“A lot of people are in different circumstances, so if you feel like you want to take a jump outside of the Philippines, do it. If you want to stay in the Philippines with your family, do it. It’s just all your choice.”
Moreover, Ramos stressed that they are honing their craft elsewhere not just for their personal development but also to help in building Gilas’ World Cup team.
“Anybody that has the national team duties, of course, we want to have as many people there as we can, we can put together the best team possible for the World Cup next year,” he continued.
“So, that’s kind of my advice, do what makes you happy.”