THE Filipino's love for basketball stays with him - no matter where he goes.
Take Reuben Amado for example.
Born to Filipino parents before settling in Singapore at the age of six, Amado traces his love for basketball to his roots.
Now he, alongside David Chuabio and Jack Lascado are among the players with Filipino blood who represent Singapore in the 2017 SEABA Under-16 tournament.
"My father introduced the sport to me and when I was in the Philippines, I always play in the outside courts, I always play there," said Amado, whose family traces its roots to Cavite.
Amado and Co., however, didn't get a hospitable welcome from their 'kababayans' as Singapore got blown out, 108-42, by Batang Gilas in the opener for the youth tournament.
That's why Amado was quick to tip his hat off to their foes, admitting that there's still a long way to go for Singapore before it catches up with the acknowledged basketball power in the region.
"Filipinos are very intense. Their defense is very hard. It's hard to execute the ball past the half-court line," said Amado, who finished with four points and three assists as a starter.
"They are very tall, very big, they play with high intensity."
Amado, however, chalked down the loss as a learning experience, saying games against the Philippines will only serve to toughen their team in the long run.
"We have more hunger to win, we have more hunger for the ball and we will give all our strength for the next game," said Amado.