After receiving a humiliating 75-103 dismantling at the hands of Ryukyu Golden Kings two nights ago, the iECO Green Warriors displayed grit and grind against the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
It was a brave stand by the hastily-formed club team. However, it ended up as a heartbreaker, as the Philippine-side bowed to the Chinese club team, 103-107.
But iECO head coach Ariel Vanguardia could not be more proud of the way his Green Warriors fought against the Chinese ball club.
“That’s the way the Philippines plays.
“The first game wasn’t the Philippine kind of basketball and we were embarrassed in that game,” recalled Vanguardia. “Today, we displayed we can compete. I am proud of the effort of my players.”
The players’ efforts were at a high level on Thursday night. From a paltry showing last Tuesday, four players scored in double figures, with reinforcement Tiras Wade leading the pack with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Wade’s performance was excellent considering that he was just a last-minute replacement for fellow American Richard Howell, who injured his left ankle badly back in their game against the Golden Kings.
“I’m very thankful to Tiras, my former player from seven years ago,” said Vanguardia, as he coached Wade in the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League. “He came in on a very short notice.
“He was supposed to sub in for Sam Logwood who was food poisoned a day before we flew to Macau, but since he was in Guangzhou he came in with us.”
Now that iECO’s journey in Macau has ended, they are now looking at the future, which includes joining the ABL.
“We’re still hoping to join the ABL.
“We’re still hoping. But most of the players will enter the PBA draft this year – good luck to them – and our imports will leave soon, so let’s see in a couple of weeks for development,” said Vanguardia.