Chip Engelland eager to visit Samboy, former NCC teammates | Inquirer Sports

Chip Engelland eager to visit Samboy, former NCC teammates

/ 05:15 AM August 25, 2023

This file photo shows Chip Engelland (No. 10) in action whileNCC played as a guest team in the PBA. —FILE PHOTO

This file photo shows Chip Engelland (No. 10) in action while NCC played as a guest team in the PBA. —FILE PHOTO

Still recovering from a stroke that felled him during a basketball game almost a decade ago, Samboy Lim has been receiving visitors at his home, all of whom check on how he is doing.

He is about to open his door to a very special old friend in the coming days.


“I’m going to see Samboy Lim this week, so I can’t wait to see him,” said Chip Engelland, the shooting coach who is part of Team USA in the current Fiba (International Basketball Association) World Cup.


By “our team,” Engelland is referring to the Northern Consolidated Cement squad, whose program has became the blue print of the national federation when it first launched Gilas Pilipinas.

Engelland was a member of that team, which featured the country’s finest amateurs—Lim, Allan Caidic and Hector Calma, to name a few—and reinforced by naturalized Americans. That’s why Engelland feels more than just another of the foreign guests who flew into the country for the World Cup.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Engelland said after Team USA’s first practice at Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday. “I feel [like] I’m home again. It feels really good.”

American players Anthony Edwards, Austin Reaves and Paolo Banchero made themselves available to a number of journalists both from here and abroad after training, but on the other side of the baseline, a pair of local journos chatted up Engelland, whose history with the Philippines is something older generations of hoop fans will never forget Engelland came to Manila in 1983 to become part of the famed national team program of the late Danding Cojuangco and coach Ron Jacobs, who had a keen eye on the former Duke product known for his capability to score at will, especially from the outside.

He showed just that in NCC stints when it played as a guest team in the PBA and later on in the international level when the Philippines won the 1984 Asian interclub and 1985 William Jones Cup titles.


But his chance at naturalization, Engelland recalled, was derailed when the NCC program ended in the aftermath of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.

Engelland eventually went through different paths that led to stints as shooting coach of the San Antonio Spurs and currently the Oklahoma City Thunder before being tapped by Team USA for this World Cup.

Despite that long road, Engelland has fond memories he still cherishes to this day, while also paying tribute to the NCC figures who had long departed.

“The best basketball fans in the world are here in the Philippines, so to be here and the World Cup being here, it’s an honor to be here,” he said. “I have great memories, first of all, the great players of the PBA, my teammates with NCC and San Miguel. “I remember our great owner, Mr. Cojuangco, who I miss and we all do. He supported us. Great coach we had, Ron Jacobs, our team manager was Henry Cojuangco, so we miss him. My dear friend in the team, Alfie Almario, so I have a lot of memories. Many are happy and some are sad ones because life happens.”

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This is Engelland’s first visit since 2007, and this time, he is hoping to help the Americans coached by his good friend, Steve Kerr, bounce back from a seventh place finish in 2019 and win a record sixth title.

And beyond that, he is excited about a little get-together that would mean much to his former teammate. “Our team will have a little reunion,” Engelland said.

TAGS: Chip Engelland, Fiba World Cup, Samboy Lim

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