BEFORE leaving for the Philippines, Eric Wise got the best piece of advice from his father, former PBA import Francois Wise.
The elder Wise told his son to "go grab the rebound, have fun, and be ready for the physicality (in the PBA)" as Eric sets forth in his first tour of duty in Asia’s first ever pro league by suiting up for Barako Bull in the coming Governors Cup.
Apparently, the young Wise took his father’s words to heart as he led the Energy in a second-half charge on the way to a 90-75 victory over GlobalPort during the two teams’ tune-up match on Saturday at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
The 6-foot-4 Wise banged in 28 points as he got most of his baskets from inside the paint, reminiscent of his father who was a rebounding monster while playing for teams such as U-Tex, Tanduay, Manila Beer, and later on, Hills Bros in the eighties.
The second-generation player also had 15 rebounds.
“He (Francois) told me the (PBA) game is physical and don’t look to get any calls, don’t say anything to the referees, and they (team) want you to rebound and score,” Wise told Spin.ph on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Barako Bull import said the PBA’s physicality won’t be a problem for him, saying he’s gotten used to it during his most recent tour of duty overseas in Luxembourg.
“Well, it was physical, still adjusted well, but missed a lot of easy shots and free throws,” Wise said after his first taste of the league’s brand of game over the weekend.
But he’s thankful his veteran Barako Bull teammates helped him settle down for a smoother transition in the PBA.
“They (Barako Bull teammates) helped me a lot. I think I fit them well. They showed me how to play here,” he added.
The younger Wise said living up to his father’s reputation as a solid and highly-regarded import is something he will just have to deal with once the season-ending tournament gets underway on May 20.
“I have to live up to the name, man, you know everybody knows my dad. It’s tough, but I’m looking forward to it (the challenge),” said the soft-spoken Wise.
The former USC Trojan forward averaged 28.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists during his 11-game stint in Luxembourg.
His father, Francois, once scored 74 points while playing for Tanduay on August 10, 1983, and built a reputation as a mean low-post operator and rebound machine.