MANILA, Philippines – After University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Aldin Ayo called Troy Rike “unfair” for telling the press that he was kneed by a Growling Tiger, the National University big man clarified his “sneaky play” comment wasn’t directed at the España-based squad.
“It was more of just a general statement on Philippine basketball,” Rike told Rappler. (READ: Troy Rike calls out dirty basketball tactics in UAAP)
“I want it to be clear that I’m not saying: ‘The whole UAAP is out to get me, [or] that one is trying to hurt me” – this is not what I’m trying to say. But I think in general, most viewers will agree that there is no place for that stuff (cheap shots) in basketball.”
After losing to the Bulldogs, Ayo fired back at Rike and called his accusations “unfair” because they were just playing within the rules of basketball.
The collegiate champion mentor put the blame on differences in culture.
“Kaya ayoko mag-recruit ng Fil-Am eh. Except for Fil-Ams na kung maglaro parang Pinoy,” commented Ayo on his preferences for players.
“Kaya gusto ko mga Bisaya eh. Gusto ko mga andun sa south eh. From Manila also, yung mga ugaling Pinoy na resilient. Upbringing din yan eh. Depende rin sa kultura yan eh.”
(That’s why I don’t recruit Fil-Ams, except for Fil-Ams who play like Pinoys. That’s why I like players from the Visayas and the south [Mindanao]. From Manila too, those who have resilient Pinoy attitudes. It’s all on the upbringing. It really depends on the culture.)
Rike wants everyone to know that he is working hard to adjust to Philippine basketball’s physical style of play, but he will not condone other players getting away with dirty tactics.
“It is what it is here and I have to get used to that. It’s not my rules, it’s the people’s. I don’t get to come here to change the rules. But the extra stuff is not toughness,” said the Gilas cadet.
“That’s something I’m willing to stand up for.”
After graduating from Wake Forest University last May, Rike was recruited to the Gilas program and joined the cadets in the Filoil preseason tournament.
The big man was eventually recruited by National University to play in a one-and-done season while he takes up masters in Education. – Rappler.com