Jeremy Lin relishes playing again before 'unreal' PH fanbase | Inquirer Sports

Jeremy Lin relishes playing again before ‘unreal’ PH fanbase

/ 10:26 PM January 03, 2024

Jeremy Lin EASL

Former NBA veteran Jeremy Lin during an EASL game at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Jeremy Lin had himself a game in front of a rowdy crowd to push New Taipei past Meralco, 89-77, in the East Asia Super League (EASL) on Wednesday night at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Lin didn’t need any extra motivation to power the Kings to an undefeated 3-0 card. All he needed to see—and feel—was the roar of the Filipino crowd.


“The word that everyone always uses to describe here is ‘crazy.’ It’s just crazy here. For our teammates, this is definitely one of the destinations to be. When we talk in the summer or offseason about endorsement tours or this and that, the Philippines is a top, top, top destination that everybody wants to be at, for sure,” said the former NBA veteran.


“I came here in 2013 for a preseason game and right after that, we went to Taipei to play the next one. My parents were born and raised in Taipei and when they asked me what that experience was like, I can say they’re equally crazy. This fanbase is unreal. It’s awesome. Hayden talks about why he misses it here and I think that’s a big reason why,” Lin added.

Lin was referring to his teammate Hayden Blankley, who was part of the Bay Area Dragons team that played against Barangay Ginebra in Game 7 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup before a record crowd of 54,589 at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan last year.

Jeremy Lin EASL

Jeremy Lin.-MARLO CUETO/

The Asian basketball sensation topscored for the Kings with 23 points that went with 10 rebounds and four assists.

Lin recalled how insane the fans were during his first trip to the country in 2013 as part of the Houston Rockets for a preseason game against the Indiana Pacers at Mall of Asia Arena.

Just a year removed from “Linsanity” in New York, Lin was among the most beloved players despite the presence of stars like James Harden, Dwight Howard and Paul George.

“It’s a different experience when I came in 2013. It was in the NBA with the Rockets and the Pacers and that’s a whole different level. We could barely walk out of the lobby of our hotel. There were hundreds of people following us.”


The 35-year-old Lin last played in the NBA in 2019 for the Toronto Raptors but even so, he still received a warm welcome from Filipino fans eager to get an interaction with the point guard.

“The enthusiasm is just felt everywhere you go. Even in the interactions, you can feel their deep passion for the game. It’s great to be here, you can feel it everywhere you go.”

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TAGS: East Asia Super League (EASL), Jeremy Lin

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