ISAIAH Austin was a towering presence in Gilas Pilipinas' first official practice for the Fiba Asia Champions Cup later this month in China.
The 7-foot-1 American, who arrived in the country Tuesday night, shrugged off jetlag and joined the team under the Chooks-To-Go banner bound for the September 22-30 showpiece.
Joining him in the training at the Meralco Gym on Wednesday were PBA players Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Jonathan Grey, Carl Cruz, Norbert Torres, and Jeric Teng.
Austin, who was ‘drafted’ in the 2014 NBA draft but didn’t play after being diagnosed with marfan syndrome, is being eyed as possible naturalized player for the country.
Amateur standouts Jeron Teng, Kiefer Ravena, Raymar Jose, Gab Banal, Jett Manuel, JK Casino and Achie Inigo were also in attendance in the the session graced by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chairman Robbie Puno.
Practice players Robbie Herndon, Jamal Thomas, Mikee Reyes, and Joseph Gabayni also showed up.
Although he already begged off from joining the team, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. showed up in street clothes to support the team.