Filipino players keen on future NBA stints

Feel PBA should do more to promote itself

Gulf News

Dubai: Bimby Yap will become the first Filipino to play in the NBA, according to his PBA-playing father James. But it begs the question why should one have to wait for the four-year-old to grow up before such a milestone in the Philippines' national sport is reached.

Speaking exclusively to Gulf News, Yap Senior of B-Meg joked, when asked why a Filipino had never played stateside: "Maybe, not [at] this time, but maybe my son I hope will [make it to the NBA]."

Nobody likes a racial stereotype, but ‘size' is the only credible answer the stars can offer to the long-running PBA-NBA conundrum. Yap said: "Filipino's lack height. But I've seen some young Filipinos who are tall and [I believe] it's just a matter of time. But the NBA guys are tall and quick, thats their advantage."

The PBA has been running for 36 years, a full 29 less than America's NBA. But with the American-imported game now arguably at the heart of Filipino culture and with millions of Filipino's relocated and integrated into US-society, the fact that size limits a Filipino kid's chances in the game simply shouldn't wash in this day of age.

At five foot three inches Muggsy Bogues is proof enough that you can forge a decent basketball career without necessarily being tall.

Growing up

Mark Caquaio of Ginebra said it's positional. "I think guys that are a lot taller and can bring down the ball get used to growing up playing as a four or a five [in the Philippines]. NBA kids like that play point guard at 6'4, 6'5, 6'6. In Philippines at that height you're a centre automatically. You don't get used to bringing the ball down a lot and you simply don't play point guard.

"The best PBA players should go to the NBA, it's just the height factor — the PBA should do more to promote itself and the NBA scouts should take another look."


Great Britain's Christopher Froome arrives on the podium to celebrate his overall leader yellow jersey at the end of the 165 km sixteenth stage of the 104th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Le Puy-en-Velay and Romans-sur-Isere.