KOREAN basketball star Lee Seung Jun couldn't contain his glee to once again play in the country, this time for the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest.
"I love playing here, the basketball culture, the fans, and the energy here. Where else in the world can you get an energy like this? It's amazing all the time," he said after carrying the colors of Enerskin in the 12-team showcase.
The 41-year-old forward has played in the country a number of times as he was a fixture in the Korean national team in the continental tournaments.
Lee, who also goes by his American name Eric Sandrin, even had a short stint with Alab Pilipinas in its first season in the ASEAN Basketball League, where he teamed up with his twin brother Lee Dong Jun.
That's why he was thrilled not only to play anew in the Philippines, but also to reconnect with former Alab teammate Lawrence Domingo as well as the recently retired Josh Urbiztondo, who both got to see the action on Saturday at SM Megamall Fashion Hall.
"The good thing about basketball is that the community is big, but the world is small," he said. "Everyone that plays is connected somehow to the fans and to the players, and for me to be able come back and meet some of the players I played with, it's always amazing. I'm very thankful."
Unfortunately, Enerskin failed to progress in pool play, falling to world No. 15 Ulaanbaatar of Mongolia, 21-15, and TSV Reading Cinemas of Australia, 21-12.
Still, Lee couldn't wait for the next opportunity to take on a Philippine team in future 3x3 tournaments.
"Philippine basketball is amazing. I watched the Philippine team two years ago in Nantes cause I was there," he said of the 2017 Fiba 3x3 World Cup team that featured Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, Kobe Paras, and JR Quinahan.
"It would have been nice to meet a Philippine team here, but hopefully in the next tournament, we can face them."