New Japanese import Seiya Ando wasted no time in showing the Philippine basketball fans what he can bring to the table. The 5’11, 22-year-old replacement for Benny Koochoie quickly strutted his wares as he finished with 18 points on 3-7 shooting from downtown.
14 of his points came in the second half with the Meralco Bolts trying desperately to keep in step with the NLEX Road Warriors, but the Bolts would go on to lose in the end game, 91-84.
While Ando wowed the crowd with his dazzling display of court vision and sharp shooting from beyond the arc, it was him who was left in awe with how rowdy the Filipino basketball fans can be. Firsthand, he saw how the Bolts supporters showed their support for the team despite the domination of the Road Warriors all throughout the game.
“The PBA is a very good league. The fans and the crowd, it’s very nice,” said Ando, a Canadian league veteran who also took the time to compare the Canadian league to the PBA, “In Canada, they’re faster. The PBA is much more physical.”
Ando said that his confidence came from the fact that head coach Norman Black gave him the license to play his game. And he repaid the faith of the multi-titled head coach, as he turned out to be one of the few bright spots for the Bolts in that game.
“Coach just told me to he more aggressive and If I’m open, to take that shot,” he mentioned.
And as he becomes acquainted with the PBA, Ando vows to keep on improving himself to further help his squad in the long run.
“I’ll try to be more aggressive, to play stronger and I’ll continue to play hard.”