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    Warm weather, fast-paced Alab system make James Hughes feel at home in Manila

    Jan 5, 2017
    James Hughes after his first practice with Alab Pilipinas. Reuben Terrado

    JAMES Hughes had to endure a long flight from his home state of Florida to Manila, but he has no regrets as he prepares to suit up for Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).

    Hughes left Miami on the evening of January 2 (US time) and arrived in Manila just last Wednesday afternoon, and immediately attended his first practice the following day.

    “Longest trip I’ve ever been on,” said Hughes, 33.

    But Hughes isn’t complaining as he feels right at home with Alab Pilipinas especially the warm weather.

    “I’m thankful for the opportunity to come out here. It’s warm here and I live in Florida so I went from one warm place to another warm place,” said Hughes, who last played in the Canadian league last year for Windsor Express.

    [See Sampson Carter thrilled to reunite with 'brother' Parks Jr. at Alab]

    The 6-foot-11 Hughes, who is hooking up with fellow American Sampson Carter at Alab, said he also likes the style of play that head coach Mac Cuan is putting in place in the team.

    “We have some youth and coach wants to run. That plays well into my style. Up and down the court, open court. It’s my first practice but hopefully, that will translate into great things,” said Hughes.

    Hughes admitted he is still not in the level that he wants, but is confident he can get into game shape after a few more practices.

    “Even if you work out by yourself, it’s still not like the professional level. You can train all you want but if you are not competing at a level like this, day in and day out, you are always going to be behind the 8-ball.

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    “But after a couple of practices, after this long trip that I had, I’ll start clicking,” said the North Illinois product.

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    James Hughes after his first practice with Alab Pilipinas. Reuben Terrado
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