FORMER and current NBA players who had been to the country would always mentioned adobo as the Filipino food they liked most.
Well, except for ‘Rip’ Hamilton.
The former Detroit Pistons star said he enjoyed eating crispy pata during his visit to the Philippines, and that he is looking forward to getting more of it when he comes back home to the United States.
“I’m making phone calls at home trying to find a Filipino restaurant so that I can eat that again,” Hamilton said during the formal launching of the NBA Store on Friday night at Glorietta 3.
Hamilton, who won an NBA crown with the Pistons in 2004, admitted he was hesitant to eat crispy pata when it was first offered to him.
“I was asked if I want to try pork knuckles (crispy pata) and they were like, ‘You’ve got to try it.’ I was saying no, I’ll go for a roasted chicken. Then, the chef brought it out. I tasted one piece, then I ordered two,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton presided over the launch of the NBA Store in the Philippines, the biggest outside the United States and the first in Southeast Asia.
The former NBA cager, who also played for the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls, likewise attended several charity events as part of the NBA Cares program.
Incidentally, Hamilton’s favorite player both suited up for the Bulls and the Wizards who’s considered as the greatest of all time: Michael Jordan.
Hamilton recalled his first encounter with the legendary cager, who was then president of basketball operations of the Wizards.
“The first time I met him, he was the president of the Washington Wizards. I thought I saw a ghost. When I came to introduce myself, I was speechless. I was so in awe that I didn’t even remember what I said,” recalled Hamilton, who also got to play alongside Jordan during his second return from retirement with Washington.