Ira Brown says Philippines is second favorite place to play in


Posted at Jun 16 2020 04:48 PM

Ira Brown says Philippines is second favorite place to play in 1
Japan's Ira Brown played in the Philippines in 2011. FIBA Media

MANILA, Philippines -- Ira Brown's stint in the Philippines may have been short, but it still clearly left an impression on the American-born Japanese player.

Brown played in the PBA in 2011, serving as San Miguel Beer's import in the Commissioner's Cup for two games. He returned to the country in February 2018 as part of Japan's national team, to play against Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifiers. He wound up with 16 points and 8 rebounds in an 84-89 loss to the Philippines.

Those brief instances were memorable for Brown, who discussed his basketball career in an interview on the FIBA Asia Instagram account

"It was a great experience," Brown said of playing in the Philippines. "Unfortunately, I was only there for two-and-a-half months."

"But my short career in the Philippines was absolutely phenomenal. I loved everything about it," he said. "The fans were great. They were very professional."

Brown said that while he played in the Philippines, he was provided with everything he needed -- including a driver and a chef. 

In a previous interview, he also recalled how the Filipino fans would energize the players just from their cheers and applause.

"The Philippines, for sure, is my second (favorite) place that I've ever played in," Brown said. "No doubt."

The 37-year-old Brown has been playing in Japan since 2011, and he first played for their national team in 2016. He will represent Japan again in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as part of their 3x3 basketball team.

"To be able to say that I'm an Olympian, or that I'm going to be an Olympian (means a lot)," he said. "Many athletes, (that's) what they chase for their entire lives, and it's like the pinnacle of their careers. So I'm really looking forward to that."

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