Dwight Ramos announced on Instagram, Friday, that he has signed with Japan B.League Division I squad Toyama Grouses.
And the sudden decision to turn professional was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the sports industry in the Philippines, especially the collegiate ranks.
The 6-foot-4 combo guard was supposed to play for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the 83rd season of the UAAP. However, the pandemic then happened.
“I would have loved to officially play for the Blue Eagles and wear that blue and white and get the whole Ateneo experience especially playing for the UAAP,” said Ramos in an Instagram post.
“However, due to the circumstances surrounding the pandemic presently and in the foreseeable future, I have decided to take my next step in growth as a person and as an athlete.”
Ramos only suited up for Ateneo in two tournaments – the 2019 Jesuit Athletic Meet and the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League.
However, the 23-year-old turned heads with his exceptional showing for the Gilas program. And those huge performances turned into opportunities to play abroad.
“I’ve proudly represented the country for the past two short years and because of all of that, this new opportunity arose for me,” said Ramos.
He also believes that this new chapter in his basketball career will benefit the country’s national program because of the level of competition in Japan.
Seven other Filipino had already signed with Japan B.League squads including Thirdy Ravena, Kiefer Ravena, Rayray Parks, and Kobe Paras, among others.
“As for the Gilas program, my commitment will always be there for as long as I can keep playing at a high level, I’ll just keep running,” said the Gilas fan favorite.
“I believe that the experience and competition level in the B.League will only allow me to become a better contributor to the Gilas program.”