New Zealand squad ready for passionate Filipino fans
Having a preview of how Philippine basketball is played during the 2015 Jones Cup in Taiwan, Wellington Saints playing coach Kevin Braswell is preparing his wards for a wild crowd as they take part in the Master Game Face MVP Cup here in Manila.
“It’s the love and the passion every Filipino fan I’ve witnessed. In New Zealand, every Monday, we have three courts full of Filipinos playing. In the Jones Cup, it took the players an hour and a half just to get out of the arena,” he said.
Now, Braswell and the Saints will have an up close and personal experience of how passionate the Filipino fans are when it comes to basketball over the weekend at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be packed up. It’s a great opportunity for the national teams and for the Saints as well,” he said.
It’s also going to be a challenging task for the New Zealand squad, which was just formed four days before the Jones Cup.
“We’ve improved a lot over the course of the last week,” said Braswell.
Forward Damien Ekenasio said that while they haven’t been practicing a long time, the players are acquainted with each other one way or another.
“The whole team pretty much played with and against each other. Coach KB and the management did a good job to make sure we’ll get to the same page and compete.”
Wellington opens its campaign against Chinese Taipei on Friday, before going up against Gilas Pilipinas and Talk ‘N Text. CFC