Troy Rike just wants to be left alone after Immigration arrest
MANILA, Philippines – Life goes on for NU Bulldogs forward Troy Rike after starting off his one-and-done UAAP career on the wrong foot.
A day after news broke out that the Gilas cadet was detained by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on allegations of being an “illegal alien studying without a visa,” Rike bounced back with 8 points and 11 rebounds, albeit in a loss against the undefeated Adamson Soaring Falcons.
And really, that’s all Rike wants to do, play basketball. The Fil-Am was able to produce documents proving he has dual citizenship and was cleared after spending the night of September 19 in the BI main office.
“It’s tough. It’s been stressful since August, really,” Rike said after the game. “It’s been quite the process. I definitely felt it in the Ateneo game. Today, it was a little bit better. I was just happy to play basketball. That’s all I wanna do.”
“I love the Philippines. I said it from the minute I came here,” he continued. “I wanna make the country proud. No one’s gonna stop me from following my dream.”
Despite the good game, he admitted that his mental state is not yet in peak form.
“It’ll be a while till it’s 100% completely off but my entire life, I found joy and love in the game of basketball so when I’m out there, I just try to focus on it,” he said.
Rike did maintain that he believed the way his detention was carried out was wrong.
“I don’t believe that’s normal, but I’m not in the government, I don’t know the laws,” he said. “I just wanna play basketball. I believe they said [the accusers were] 'the public,' that was their answer. That’s kind of a dangerous precedent if they can report people and get them arrested, but that’s what they said.”
Despite everything, he just want to move forward with his team, who has been nothing but supportive during his whole ordeal.
“I can’t thank my teammates, the management and my coaches enough. Everyone was there for me,” he said. “That means the world. There’s a lot of good people here, so I really appreciate that. Like I said in the interview, I’m not trying to go after anyone.”
“I just wanna be left alone,” he concluded. – Rappler.com