Fil-Canadian AJ Mandani always has fun shushing his kababayans

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 10, 2018 11:17 PM
Fil-Can AJ Mandani always has fun shushing his kababayans
Filipino-Canadian AJ Mandaniís big shots kept Singapore ahead and kept Alab Pilipinas at bay

Just like he did in their first meeting in the early going of the 2017-2017 Asean Basketball League, AJ Mandani proved to be a boon for Singapore and a bane for the Philippines.

Mandani scored 11 of his 23 points in the final frame to lead the Slingers in taking down Alab Pilipinas on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

This, nearly a month after his big shots also sank the Filipinos in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Yes, in the two games that the Slingers have played in the Philippines, it has been the Filipino-Canadian who showed the way to a win.

Mandani minced no words about loving each and every moment he has spent in his native land. “It’s great to be here, man. (There’s) something about the environment, something about the air that just helps me make my shots,” he told reporters.

More specifically, the environment and the air was good because the shifty guard’s friends and family were in attendance for the first time. “I got my family watching here today and of course, that’s a factor in my inspired play. It’s just good to have family here to support me,” he said.

Indeed, Mandani was inspired as he was red-hot from the field, converting six of his eight shots from deep.

All of those played a part in breaking the hearts of his kababayans.

And as a key cog for Singapore, that’s just the way he wants it. “I knew the crowd was gonna go crazy and we knew that we didn’t want to let the atmosphere shake us up. We just had to stick together,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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