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Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas taps Isaiah Austin as import, eyed as naturalized player candidate



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas taps Isaiah Austin as import, eyed as naturalized player candidate Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Isaiah Austin Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has reached a deal with Isaiah Austin to be its import come the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup. Moreover, the 23-year-old is also being looked at as a possible naturalized player for Gilas Pilipinas.

The Champions Cup will take place from September 22-30 in Chenzhou, China.

“Isaiah has been looked at by Coach Chot [Reyes] and the SBP for a long time. He is young and tall which is in line with the vision Coach Chot has for Gilas,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Incorporated president Ronald Mascariñas.

Austin though had to overcome multiple advertisities as he continues to chase his dream of becoming a professional cager.

After a two year stay in Baylor University that saw the Bears make the NCAA March Madness in his freshman year in 2012-13, the 7-foot-1 big man declared for the 2014 NBA Draft as he was seen as a sure lottery pick.

However, four days before draft day, Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissues. It forced him to withdraw from the draft but the NBA drafted him as a ceremonial pick.

Two years later, Austin was cleared to play basketball, signing with Serbian club team KK FMP Beogard. He played nine games in the Adriatic League, posting norms of 9.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.6 minutes of action.

The way Austin has overcome his personal ordeal is what made the SBP choose him as one of the potential candidates for naturalization.

He is set to begin practice on Tuesday, September 12.