AJ Mandani said there's something about his home country that brings out the best in him.
The Fil-Canadian guard scored 23 points while making six of eight three-pointers as Singapore Slingers exacted revenge on Tanduay Alab Pilipinas with a 90-80 win on Wednesday night in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
The former GlobalPort guard made the most damage in the final seven minutes, firing 11 points including a dagger three-pointer that gave the visitors an 88-76 lead with a little over a minute to go.
"It’s great, man. Something about the environment, something about the air that just helps me make my shots," said Mandani after the game played before a near-capacity crowd at the Filoil Flying V Center.
He was also thrilled to have his whole family watching him.
"It was just good to be back playing in front of everybody. I got my family here watching today. I’m just glad we executed the way we wanted to," the former PBA player said.
"Of course, that’s a factor in my inspired play. It’s just good to have family here to support."
Mandani felt the heat in the final three minutes when the crowd started to get rowdy, furious after what they felt were missed calls from the referees. But the Slingers guard kept his poise.
"I knew the crowd was gonna go crazy and we knew that we didn’t want to let the atmosphere shake us up. We just had to stick together," he said.