UAAP: After all that, NU's Rike still loves the Philippines
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 29, 2018 04:33 PM
Make no mistake about it, Troy Rike loves the Philippines
A day after revealing that he had been detained for 20 hours inside the Bureau of Immigration, Troy Rike once more took the floor in the continuation of the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
And on the hard court, National University’s first-year big man said all felt right. “Today, it was a little bit better. I’m just happy to play basketball,” he told reporters after helping his team in its gallant stand against league-leading Adamson University on Saturday.
He then continued, “That’s all I want to do.”
In an interview to CNN’s Pauline Versoza a day ago, Rike said that he spent the night of September 19 inside the BI’s head office in Pasay. There, his citizenship as a Filipino was questioned.
He was only released the following night.
This isn’t the first time the Filipino-American’s citizenship has been questioned as right before the season started, he was forced to fly to the US to obtain necessary documents to prove his roots to the Philippines and therefore be eligible to play.
Without a doubt, Rike acknowledged that he has been through a lot. “It’s tough. It’s been stressful since August really,” he said.
Still, the 22-year-old made it a point to say that he wants nothing more than to stay in the Philippines and continue his career here. As he put it, “I love the Philippines. I said that from the moment I came here that I want to make the country proud.”
He then continued, “No one’s gonna stop me from following that dream.”
That is especially true as in the eyes of Rike, all of the Bulldogs have got his back. “Everyone’s been very supportive. I just want thank my teammates, the management, and my coaches because there’s a lot of good people out here so I really appreciate that,” he said.
For now, though, the Gilas cadet said all he wants is to represent the blue and gold. “Like I said in the interview, I’m not trying to go after anyone. I just want to be left alone,” he said.
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