Former Xavier School stars hope to have a happy reunion in Dubai as they see action for Mighty Sports in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship on Feb. 1 to 9.
Ex-Rain or Shine guard TY Tang comes out of retirement for the second time to play together with Joseph Yeo—his teammate in the 90s—for the sports apparel and accessories squad co-owned by brothers Alex and Czar Wongchuking.
Acknowledged as one of the smartest guards to ever play in the pro league, Tang retired four years ago but is eager to prove that at 34 he can still play at the highest level.
Like boxing icon and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the 5’6” Tang believes age is just a number, claiming he’s feeling young after a recent US vacation.
Along with team captain Chris Tiu, they formed the deadly trio for the Golden Stallions that waged epic battles with rival Chiang Kai Shek College in the golden era of the Metro Tiong Lian League.
“I’m hoping they can still deliver the punches. They were Xavier’s formidable trio during their time,” said Alex Wongchuking, who once played for the school in the 70s.
Tang unretired last year to play for one game for Go For Gold in the PBA D-League.
The team backed by SMDC, Go For Gold, Healthcube and Oriental Group leave for Dubai on Jan. 31 looking confident of a better finish despite the limited time to prepare for one of toughest tournaments in the Middle East.
After playing for Xavier in the 1980s, Czar went on to become the team manager of Xavier starting in 2006 that also produced Charles Tiu, Woody Co, Gab Banal, Angelo Wongchuking and former Ginebra player Jett Manuel.
Tiu, who dabbles as anchor of CNN, will call the shots for the team with veteran strategist Jong Uichico, Ateneo’s Dean Castano and Co as assistants while Banal, Wongchuking, and Manuel also reunite for one last time in an international tournament.
Beefing up the team are former LA Lakers star Lamar Odom, Ginebra resident import Justine Brownlee, Chinese league veteran Randolf Morris, UP’s Juan Gomez de Liano, CSB’s Justine Gutang, La Salle forward Santi Santillan, and Fil-Ams Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams.