Taylor injury before Draft could be blessing for both player and Alaska
A hamstring problem kept Taylor Browne from working out with a number of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams before the Rookie Draft.
Except with Alaska.
Starting a PBA career with an injury was the last thing that Browne wanted, which is why he politely begged off from the other club’s invitations.
“After my first workouts with Alaska, I had a minor hamstring pull. It was a tough situation,” Browne told the Inquirer on Monday. “It was a huge risk.”
And it seems the same could be said for the Aces, who used their No. 4 pick of the second round (16th overall) on a Filipino-Canadian whose body of work can only be vouched for by some YouTube clips and a 23-point outing against Philippine club Mighty Sports during the 2019 Jones Cup.
Alaska drafting the 23-year-old Browne, however, is also starting to look like a match made in heaven.
Browne said he is bent on proving himself worthy of the Aces’ gambit. Despite his knack for scoring, he knows he has plenty of other strengths to offer in order to help the Aces’ cause.
“My play style is very non-ball dominant so I think the way I would be able to score on this team would be the way they would need or want it,” he said.
In tabbing Browne, Alaska also got to infuse youth to its roster while adding a team player who could shoot from deep and defend properly—somewhat reminiscent of its coach, Jeff Cariaso.
“Coach Jeff is big on defense and I am as well. [He’s] a Fil-Am [and] played the same position as me so I can relate to him in many ways,” said Browne. “I feel like I can really learn from coach Jeff and I’m looking forward to doing so. I want to pick his brain and to see how he became the legend that he is.”
“[And] seeing how Alaska prides [itself] in having a family dynamic intrigued me to wanting to be a part of them,” he added.
Browne said he has been doing his homework, despite the limitations brought on by the pandemic, checking with fellow Filipino-foreigners and Alaska teammates Mike DiGregorio, Robbie Herndon, Abu Tratter, Blackwater’s Simon Enciso, and NorthPort’s Sean Anthony—who is also part-Canadian— for tips.
“It’s been great having big brothers and mentors such as those guys. They have learned a lot in this league and each of them has something different to offer,” he said.
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