More than 8 years ago, TY Tang had a chance to cap his amateur career with a championship as a national player.
Representing the country via Harbour Centre, which was bankrolled by sportsman-business Mikee Romero, the PH team was tipped to rule the 2008 SEABA Champions Cup in Jakarta.
But the Harbour Centre-RP team suffered a shocking 93-85 defeat to host Indonesia in the single-round robin tournament to kiss its title-retention bid goodbye.
The 5-foot-7 Tang still remembered that moment as he moved over to the pros with that loss hanging on his head.
“I haven’t really played (for the national team) except during the SEABA with Jayson Castro. Although I have been playing outside in Korea and Japan, but not really in the pros, so siguro, this is the first time I will play in the pro ranks,” Tang told FOX Sports, who on Friday morning flew with the rest of the Mighty Sports team to Taipei to represent the country in the annual William Jones Cup.
But the former La Salle playmaker said his decision to come out of retirement is short lived. For one, he decided to briefly unretire under the “flexible time” agreement with Mighty Sports.
“The good thing here is it’s (Jones Cup) just one week. Unlike yung PCBL (Philippine Commercial Basketball League), nag-usap kami to that agreement na flexible thing lang kasi I think it would be hard for me to practice everyday and committing to a team,” he explained. “Hindi ko siya puwede isabay. Ang hirap.”
With Mighty Sports, Tang hopes the team could regain the Jones Cup crown that the Philippines last won in 2012 via the Chot Reyes-mentored Gilas Pilipinas.
Mighty Sports, handled by former Ateneo coach Bo Perasol, will be bannered by 7 imports, mostly reinforcements who used to play in the PBA.
Vernon Macklin, best remembered for leading Barangay Ginebra to a runner-up finish in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup, as well as Al Thornton, formerly with NLEX, will lead the sports and apparel ball club.
Other imports include Senegal national player and former Mahindra import Hamady NDiyae, Mike Singletary, Zach Graham and Korean Basketball League mainstays Dewarick Spencer and Troy Gillenwater.
“I’m excited for the Philippines kasi even after Gilas, we have Mighty Sports to represent the country through William Jones Cup. And everybody knows that,” he said.
“Even if these foreigners are here to help us, these guys are not new in the Philippines because some of them have played here,” added Tang.
Mighty Sports kicks off its Jones Cup title campaign against host team Chinese Taipei A on Sunday, before bracing for a tight stretch early in the tournament, clashing with 2011 Jones Cup champion South Korea on Monday, a select US team (Tuesday) followed by Japan on Wednesday. – Richard Dy