Ricky Rubio says Filipinos fit new era of basketball perfectly as small ball sweeps NBA
Spain and Minnesota star guard Ricky Rubio notes that the game is changing and everybody is playing the NBA way. Jaime Campos

RICKY Rubio said basketball, dominated for so long by bigs, has evolved into a game for more versatile squads featuring more smaller, faster players, which a definite fit to the Philippines’ style of play.

Rubio, who is in Manila for the Adidas Take on Manila Tour, said basketball is evolving into a game fit for smaller players, something that is definitely a welcome development for the Philippines in international play.

“If you see basketball, the game is played more for the small players and played on a constant faster pace. You can see the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA title. All they do is run and shoot the ball at a fast pace,” said Rubio in Friday’s press conference at the Adidas Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Rubio, who has been playing professionally since he was 14 years old, said the same style is now being played even in the international game.

“The international ball is a little bit different because its focus is more on 5-on-5. But like I said, the game is changing right now. Everyone is playing the NBA way, fast pace, more on 1-on-1,” Rubio said.

The Spanish basketball sensation, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, is in the country for the first time and Rubio. 

The 24-year-old Wolves star guard will be in Manila for three days on a tour that will include a stop in Intramuros and a visit with streetballers within the area.

“I’ll try to check on everything. I want to see the streets because I heard there’s a lot of basketball courts here. I want to check it out,” said Rubio.

Rubio said he is aware how passionate Filipinos are in basketball especially during the 2014 Fiba World Cup which was hosted by his home country Spain.

“I’m really excited to be here. I’m hearing about Filipino fans since the Beijing Olympics. I watched a lot of the Philippines in Spain playing in World Cup. Fans from Philippines even won an award for that.”

“I just want to come here and meet them in person,” said Rubio.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports