JAKARTA – Naturalized Korean player Ricardo Ratliffe looks forward to facing the Philippines in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Asian Games on Monday.
Ratliffe believes the Philippines will be a tough match-up for Korea, but insisted Korea has what it takes to beat the country he once played in as an import.
“I think they played very well. I got a lot of faith in my team. It’s to teams going at it. I think it should be a fun, exciting game,” said the 29-year-old Ratliffe in an interview with a handful of reporters after Korea’s match against Thailand on Wednesday night.
Ratliffe played for Star in the 2016 and 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup before signing up in Korea to become the team’s naturalized player.
The 6-foot-7 Ratliffe said he is also thrilled to compete against his former teammates with the Magnolia/Star franchise.
Incidentally, Ratliffe also played for a brief time with Jordan Clarkson at Missouri in the US NCAA.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve played in the Philippines. Really close with a lot of guys. I have teammates on the team, Paul Lee, James Yap, and Jordan. I’m also close with Stanley Pringle. I’m looking forward to going up against them. Those are my friends,” said Ratliffe.
Ratliffe said it will also be crucial that he is familiar with most of the players in the Philippines, having played with or against them in the PBA.
“I played against a lot of them and I played with them so I’ll try to help some of my teammates guard the guys, tell them what I think, their tendencies are. Hopefully it works out,” said Ratliffe.
Ratliffe also said having Clarkson with the Philippines will give the Gilas squad a different dimension, as shown in their match against China.
“I watched his first game live,” said Ratliffe, referring to Clarkson. “I think they had a good performance especially him being there. He is used to different styles of play.”