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Naturalized player prospect Isaiah Austin arrives in Manila

MANILA, Philippines - Isaiah Austin, a prospect to be naturalized for the Gilas Pilipinas team, has arrived in Manila.

The 7-foot-1 Austin landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday evening, September 12 and is set to reinforce the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas team that will see action in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in China later this month.

The former Baylor University standout was officially welcomed by head coach Chot Reyes, among others, a day before he joins the team’s official practice.

Welcome to Manila @IsaiahAustin! See you in a bit pic.twitter.com/PUyEbOXbiu — Chot Reyes (@coachot) September 12, 2017

Guess who's in the house? @IsaiahAustin #zeke pic.twitter.com/0P12v8U2zD — Chot Reyes (@coachot) September 12, 2017

I'm here. Ready to get to work. Thank you all the fans for the endless love and support that I've received already. — Isaiah Austin (@IsaiahAustin) September 12, 2017

Three years ago, the California native thought his competitive basketball career was over after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome - a genetic connective tissue disorder in his heart.

Austin, who was then regarded as a potential first-round prospect, was given a special selection by commissioner Adam Silver back in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was called up the stage as a ceremonial pick in between the 15th and 16th selections, where he was met with thunderous applause and standing ovation.

The inherited disorder initially forced Austin to stop playing, before he was given clearance to suit up for the sport again just late last year.

The Philippine representatives will have the chance to gun for the crown of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup where they may go head-to-head against an Andray Blatche-led China squad.

The tournament is set to run from September 22 to 30 in Chenzhou.

Take a look at some of Austin’s highlight plays here:

Rappler.com