It’s no secret that Filipinos are obsessed with basketball. Same goes for Filipino Americans. Ask many Filipino Americans and more likely than not, they LOVE basketball. TFAL even did an episode on it. Did you know that several hundred Filipino Americans are in the Philippines playing basketball in the college, minor leagues, and the PBA? When the NBA seems out of reach for most, many Filipino Americans strive to join the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
What are the experiences of Filipino American ballers in the Philippines? What is it like to move away from the U.S. to pursue their hoop dreams? In this special TFAL episode from the Philippines, we speak with former PBA star Tony De La Cruz about his journey to the PBA. He talks being among the first Filipino American players to join the PBA, the culture shock he experienced when moving to the Philippines, his current role as a basketball and life coach, and his views about Filipino-style of basketball and basketball in general. He also discusses his battle with depression and the importance of mental health among Filipinos. Tony truly believes that basketball is an apt metaphor for life.
Tony is truly an inspiration and it was a honor to interview him. He welcomed Joe and Gerlie to his lovely home and we broke bread with him. Though the premise of the interview was basketball, our conversation was so much more. We hope you enjoy this episode.