By Peter Atencio
JALEN Green, the third player of Filipino descent to see action in the NBA, is making the necessary adjustments to improve on his game and help his team, the Houston Rockets have a better 2022-2023 season.
Getting a better read of game situations is something that he is focusing on, said Green, a day after he flew into Manila with members of his family for the JG4 Manila Tour 2022.
“I’m working on making reads of game plays and making decisions faster and just really learn how to win games,” said the 20-year-old Green after he dropped by at the adidas Brand Center in Glorietta 3, Makati City.
The Tour marks Green’s third visit to the country and his first time as an NBA athlete and adidas Global Ambassador.
The Rockets, according to Green, is now in a period of rebuilding after they finished 15th in the Western Conference with a 20-62 win-loss record.
The 6’4″ Green, who was picked second in the first round of the NBA Rookie Draft, still had a good year individually.
Averaging 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists last season, Green made the NBA All Rookie First Team honors, along with Scottie Barnes (Toronto Raptors), Cade Cunningham(Detroit Pistons), Evan Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic).
Green, who is following the footsteps of Jordan Clarkson and Raymond Townsend as among the first two players of Filipino descent to play in the NBA, added that this year, he will be playing with a new jersey number, changing from 0 to 4.
Teammate Sterling Brown will now use that number, after he had trouble giving it up, according to Jalen.
No. 4 used to be Green’s jersey number while he was still in high school, in San Joaquin Memorial at Fresno, California.
“My teammate had no. 4 already. He can’t give it up. So, I picked another. I tried and now it’s better,” added Green, who is on the second year of a three-year $8.992-million contract with the Rockets.
Later in the afternoon, Green, his mother Lee Puruganan and members of his family, visted the the festivities at Ayala Malls Manila Bay for the Jalen Green One of One Tribute: Manila Culture Experience.
Through this tribute, Jalen got to experience what it’s like to play Philippine streetball, graffiti and sports car culture.
Puruganan is part Filipino through his grandfather, who is known to be a full-blooded Ilocano from Ilocos Sur.
Jalen, who last came to the Philippines for the 2018 NBTC tournament, hopes to visit family members in the province of Ilocos Sur if possible.
The Puruganans trace their roots from the towns of Bantay, Vigan City and Narvacan.
Jalen, though, was not able to make the trip to Ilocos Sur four years ago. Peter Atencio