ABE King was one of the toughest players to ever play in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), but he feels he won't shine as much in today's game.
The former Toyota star said today's brand of basketball is less physical compared to his time in the seventies through the nineties, so much so that it puts more premium on quickness and athleticism.
“Napansin ko, medyo less physical tapos mga bata ngayon, mas athletic na kesa noon,” the US-based King told Spin.ph while watching the action in the UAAP basketball tournament on Sunday afternoon.
Today's players are also stronger - and the game is a lot faster now, he added.
“Tapos na ‘yung panahon na sinasabi ng mga matatanda na kapag ikaw ay nag-weights, hindi ka na tatangkad, hindi ka na bibilis, babagal ka,” noted the 17-year PBA veteran.
“Marami na ring changes sa rules kaya ang games bumibilis,” added the under-sized power forward who was part of Toyota’s championship team in the early years of the PBA.
The 58-year-old King, a three-time member of the All-Defensive team and one-time Mythical Team selection, is currently in town for a brief visit after migrating to the United States decades ago.
A former star player of San Beda, King also suited up for Gold Eagle, Great Taste, and Purefoods in a career where he distinguished himself as one of the league's top defensive players.
On Sunday, King said he was at the Big Dome to support former PBA teammate and UAAP commissioner Chito Loyzaga, a fellow Bedan.
“Ka-batch ko si Chito. I’m here to support him,” said King, who currently stays in Washington State and is now enjoying retirement after working as manager for a plantation company.
Abe’s son Igee is currently playing for Emilio Aguinaldo College in the NCAA. The elder King said he has been getting good feedback about his son's stint with the Generals.
“Sabi ni coach Ato Badolato sa akin, ‘maganda ang linalaro ng anak mo. Just keep it up.’
King said his son still has a lot of room for improvement.
“For me, it’s just a matter of maturity and hopefully, lumakas ng konti ‘yung team para lumabas ang laro niya,” King said.
The former cage great said he has two weeks remaining in his one-month vacation in the country.
“Pero extendable ‘yun,” he clarified.
He also intends to watch more collegiate basketball games while he is here.
“Actually mas gusto kong manood ng UAAP and NCAA. Kapag semifinals na, baka mag-extend ako,” said King.