FORMER Los Angeles Laker great Byron Scott was left impressed by a couple of PBA talent who he was able to watch during the Phoenix-Meralco Philippine Cup game on Wednesday.
Without naming names, the former LA player and coach said Filipino players obviously have what it takes to become successful in the sport considered as a religion in this country of 100 million people.
"I saw some talent who I thought were very good," he admitted in a brief interview following the game at the San Juan Arena which the Fuel Masters won, 94-90.
"So if they keep on playing and make sure they stay hungry and give everything they got, they have a chance to become very successful."
Filipino basketball talent is nothing new to Scott, having handled Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson during his rookie year with the Lakers.
The 55-year-old Scott, a key member of the 80s Showtime Lakers, arrived in the country a few days ago to be with his Filipina girlfriend, Cecilia Gutierrez.
A registered nurse, Gutierrez hasn't gone back to the country the last 12 years, according to the former NBA player, that the couple decided to come home for a brief visit and spend the holidays here.
It just so happened, too, the cousin of Meralco assistant coach Luigi Trillo was a friend of Gutierrez.
"So a couple of guys coaching in the PBA invited us to come to the game today," said Scott, who was replaced as Lakers coach by Luke Walton prior to the new PBA season.
Watch Scott chatting with Meralco assistant coach Jimmy Alapag:
He watched the Meralco-Phoenix game at ringside along with Gutierrez, and was later joined by Meralco board of governor Al Panlilio, also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
The Bolts and Fuel Masters put up a good show for Scott, the last coach to handle the great Kobe Bryant in his NBA career.
"I thought it was interesting. Both teams were very competitive," he said.
Scott and his Filipina girlfriend will also watch the December 25 special doubleheader at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, highlighted by the Barangay Ginebra-Star showdown.
They'll leave for the U.S the following day.