Fil-Am Jalen Green on Philippine basketball: ‘I like it better’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 19, 2018 03:18 PM
Fil-Am Jalen Green on Philippine ball: ‘I like it better'
Highly-touted USA prospect Jalen Green (second from left) and his mother Bree Green (leftmost) have traced their roots back to the Philippines

Jalen Green, the top-ranked sophomore in the USA is in the Philippines right now, playing against the best of the best the country has to offer.

And although he has only played two games against Filipinos, he is already acknowledging the intensity of their style of play. “It’s very physical. Refs don’t call like how they call it in the States,” he told reporters after he and his team defeated La Salle Lipa in the Round of 32 of the 2018 National Basketball Training Center National League.

He then continued, “It’s very soft in USA compared to here. I like It better here ‘cause it’s more competitive.”

Green and Fil-Am Sports fell to Adamson High School a day ago before bouncing back at the expense of the representatives from Batangas on Monday.

Both times, Green was impressed.

That’s quite the high praise for a 6-foot-6, 16-year-old currently considered as the most prized prospect for the USA’s Class of 2020.

Even Bree Green, Jalen’s mother, was left in awe at the no quit attitude of players from the host country. “It’s physical – physical basketball. They don’t stop, they don’t quit, and they really, really play hard,” she said.

Of course, the Greens would love Philippine basketball – because they themselves have roots here.

Jalen’s great grandfather, and Bree’s grandfather, hails from Ilocos Sur.

Bree and Jalen, however, have never been to the Philippines – until now.

And it was just fortunate that the 2018 NBTC Nationals was about to commence right after Green’s team was eliminated from the tournament they were competing in. “I just found out (I had Filipino blood) when I got on the plane. My mom said I have a lot of family here so it’s exciting,” he said.

Green and San Joaquin Memorial High School had just been booted out of the state championships.

With that, the Filipino-blooded tantalizing talent committed to play for Fil-Am Sports in the 2018 NBTC Nationals. “The top players are here and basketball is a big thing here so I want to prove myself to the Philippines,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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