Former Letran star Willie Miller thrilled to see NCAA teams play before home fans
Former Letran star Willie Miller was an active spectator on the Knights bench in their home win against the CSB Blazers. Jaime Campos

FORMER Letran standout and PBA star Willie Miller was thrilled with the new NCAA on Tour format after watching the Knights turn back College of St. Benilde, 92-78, at their home floor on Thursday.

Miller said the new format is refreshing as it inspires players to perform well for their home fans, and at the same time, fires up visiting teams to play the spoiler’s role—something he would have loved to do back in his time with Letran.

"Magandang experience (NCAA on Tour) hindi lang para sa mga players siyempre sa mga nanonood rin, lalo na kaming mga alumni varsity ng school. Kasi parang may homecourt advantage parati, katulad ngayon naglaro tayo sa Letran, maraming mga Letranista na tuwang-tuwa na nakita nilang naglaro sa homecourt yung team nila, nakakatuwa yung ganun e," said Miller, who was named NCAA Rookie of the Year when he joined the Knights in 1995.

"Walang ganito noong naglalaro ako. Yung feel kasi sa venue noon yung half Letranista, tapos half yung kalaban. Ngayon ang maiiba pag ikaw yung nadayo sa ibang lugar, lahat ay kalaban mo dahil homecourt nila at iyon yung pinakamasarap na feeling," he added with a laugh.

[See Rey Nambatac drops season-high 31 as Letran whips CSB to end NCAA On Tour home team jinx]

The 40-year-old Miller was more than a spectator, though, as he was seated at the bench during the game and gave the Knights some advice that helped them regroup from a slow start.

"Siyempre anything na maitutulong ko sa mga players, siyempre kailangan ko i-share. May mga nakita ako na kulang na ginagawa kanina ng mga players, kaya advice lang ako ng advice kasi ayun ang magpapapanalo sa team," said Miller, currently teaching kids to play basketball and still continues to play basketball at invitational games

However, Miller’s last stint in a professional league was back in 2016 when he played in the ASEAN Basketball League under Pilpinas MX3 Kings.

When asked if he is willing to go into coaching, particularly with Letran if he gets an offer, Miller smiled.

"Pwede, pwede, pwede."

[See Rey Nambatac gives Letran home fans a game to remember in final season before joining PBA]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @chelseiajeanne