Alab’s new import has no regrets even after ‘longest trip ever’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 06, 2017 05:47 PM
Alab’s new import has no regrets even after ‘longest trip'
END-TO-END. James Hughes endured more than one day on an airplane to be able to continue his playing career.

Alab Pilipinas is very much in need of an inside presence and if their practice last Thursday was any indication, they have it at long last.

James Hughes, all six-feet and 11-inches of him, was a towering presence in his first scrimmage with his new teammates at the Enderun Gym in Taguig.

Of course, practice is a far cry from the actual game, but there was no doubt that the American’s size and length was a welcome addition when compared to now-departed imports six-foot-eight Lee Seung Jun and six-foot-five Dong Seung Jun.

More than providing much-needed inside presence, however, Hughes said he was just glad to finally be here in the Philippines. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to come out here. I’m glad it’s warm out here because I was living in (Miami,) Florida,” he said.

He then continued, “So I went from one warm place to another warm place.”

Indeed, it was nothing but good news for the 33-year-old that he did not have to suffer the same shock many foreigners have experienced with the Philippines’ hot and humid weather.

That is even truer after Hughes just had what he called “the longest trip I’ve ever been on.” According to him, he left Miami on January 2, 7:40 PM and only arrived in Manila on January 4 at 4:30 PM.

Make no mistake about it, however, Alab’s newest reinforcement has no regrets. “I’m not second-guessing my decision at all. Like I said, I feel like I’m gonna have a smooth transition,” he expressed.

Still, Hughes was honest to admit that he is yet to be back in game shape. “You know, even if you work out by yourself, it’s still not like this level. You can train all you want, but when you’re not competing at a level like this day in, day out, you’ll always gonna be behind,” he shared.

He then continued, making a promise to the Filipinos, “But gimme a couple of practices and get this long trip that I had out of me, everything will start clicking.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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