Ex-PBA, MBA veteran Chris Bade proud to pass national team torch to daughter
MANILA, Philippines — Former PBA and MBA veteran Chris Bade held tremendous pride in being able to suit up for the national team.
Now, with one of his daughters also getting the privilege of representing flag and country, the former Laguna Lakers cager couldn't be more happy.
"Sino ba hindi magiging proud? Yung kanyang hard work paid off... Having both father and daughter nag-represent ng Philippines," Bade said of his youngest daughter Gabi.
Gabi, 24, played US NCAA Division I basketball for Sacramento State in her college career and had already represented the Philippines in the Jones Cup back in 2019.
And despite the challenges of the coronavirus disease pandemic, Bade said her daughter wants to come back for more.
"She told me she wants to play [in the SEA Games for Gilas]... Even in the WNBL, she said I want to play, I want to go there," Bade added.
Bade, for his part, represented the national team in the 90s. He suited up for the Philippine cagers in the 1993 SEA Games as part of the "Rag-tag" Philippine team. He also had stints in the Jones Cup.
In the PBA, Bade was drafted by the Shell Helix in 1994 after a good collegiate run with the San Sebastian Stags in the NCAA.
After his contract expired with Shell, he went on to play in the Metropolitan Basketball Association, where he would play until 2001. He last represented the Laguna Lakers in the MBA.
Now, Bade is in the US and is working in the Santa Clara county's finance department.
"Nagfofocus lang ako sa work and my hobby is mountain biking... I stopped playing basketball siguro mga two years ago," he said.
Despite his "retirement" from the sport, however, Bade remains a clear mentor for his daughter, especially when it comes to relishing her opportunities in the national team.
"A lot of players, good players, nakakapaglaro ng pro, semi-pro, but not all of them can represent their country," he said.
Bade's daughter is only one of numerous talents in the US that has been tapped by the Philippine women's national basketball team.
Gilas women coach Pat Aquino is currently in the States to scout for even more prospects as the build up for the Pinay cagebelles' future continues to rise.