‘I gotta get some longganisa’: Saigon Heat’s Josh Munzon enjoys first time in the Philippines

Ceej Tantengco on Jan 29, 2017 04:35 PM
Saigon Heat’s Munzon enjoys first time in the Philippines
“Just to see everybody, and play in this environment. I’ve always wanted to experience it.”

In the eyes of the Filipino fans that filled Olivarez Gym last Friday, Alab Pilipinas could do no wrong. The crowd screamed each time they held the ball, and didn’t let up even as the home team led by over 20 points and eventually took the game.

But the Pinoy fans couldn’t help but root for Saigon Heat’s Fil-Am player Josh Munzon. The athletic 22-year-old went for slams and even got in a block so brutal, people in the crowd jumped to their feet and cheered.

Despite losing the game, Munzon remains happy to witness Pinoy basketball culture as he visits his father’s country for the first time. 

“I live with my mom most of the time but I do visit my dad so I definitely got some of that culture, the food, the holidays,” shares Munzon. “Just to see everybody, and play in this environment. I’ve always wanted to experience it.”

At the top of his checklist of things to do in the Philippines is his favorite Pinoy food. “I gotta get some longganisa, that’s for sure!” laughs the guard, who hails from Compton and played for the Cal State LA Golden Eagles in Division 2 of the NCAA.

Despite growing up with a connection to Filipino culture—he certainly knows to pair his longganisa with vinegar and a heap of rice—Munzon wasn’t aware of how beloved basketball is in the country. “I honestly had no idea until a few years ago, when I started looking it up online. It’s crazy here!” he says.

As to the reason Munzon was reading up about the Philippines, he isn’t shy about wanting to try his luck in the PBA.

“That’s been the plan. I’m definitely interested. After the ABL, I’m gonna go home and talk to my family,” he say. “Then we’ll take it from there.”

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