MACAU – Nine years since gracing the PBA, Tiras Wade relishes the chance to represent the Philippines – a place he says where “the love for the game is unmatched” – in the Asia League Terrific 12.
The former TNT import was tabbed by the iECO Green Warriors after initial import Richard Howell went down with a severe ankle sprain in their 75-103 blowout loss to Japan’s Ryukyu Golden Kings last September 18.
“The Philippines, like what I always tell everybody, is one of my favorite places to play – top three places to play. The love for the game is unmatched,” he told Filipino reporters here.
“I would say the States, the Philippines, and China have the best basketball atmosphere to play in. Feels good to be back and to represent the Philippines, at least playing with Filipino teammates again.”
Wade, who currently resides in China, received a call from iECO head coach Ariel Vanguardia to replace Howell and although it was on short notice, he didn’t hesitate to make the trip to Macau.
“It was a no-brainer for me. I didn’t have anything else to do and I love to get a chance to play again on a stage like this.”
The Green Warriors – no thanks to Ryukyu sweeping the group stage – are already eliminated but they seek to end the invitational tournament on a high note against China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
And for Wade, it all comes down to playing cohesively.
“I know being familiar with Philippine basketball, if we catch fire, we catch fire and it’s definitely going to be a game. I wouldn’t be surprised if we take the win.”
The Green Warriors and the Flying Tigers collide on Thursday, September 20, at the Studio City Event Center here. – Rappler.com
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