Chip Engelland thrilled over return to a place he calls ‘home’

Chip Engelland Team USA FIba World Cup

Team USA’s Chip Engelland. –JONAS TERRADO/Inquirer Sports

Chip Engelland is thrilled to be back in the Philippines, this time as part of Team USA’s coaching staff for the Fiba World Cup

An older generation of hoop fans can recall Engelland being a part of the Northern Consolidated program of Danding Cojuangco and coach Ron Jacobs in the mid-80s.

“I have great memories, first of the great players of the PBA, my teammates with NCC and San Miguel,” Engelland told a handful of reporters after the Americans concluded Wednesday’s practice at Mall of Asia Arena.

Engelland was quick to reflect on NCC figures who had already passed, namely Cojuangco and his son Henry, Jacobs and teammate Alfie Almario.

“I remember our great owner, Mr. Cojuangco, who I miss and we all do. He supported us. Great coach we had, Ron Jacobs, our team manager was Henry Cojuangco, so we miss him. My dear friend in the team, Alfie Alamario, so I have a lot of memories,” said Engelland.

“Many are happy and some are sad ones because life happens,” added the former San Antonio Spurs shooting guru who is now with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This is Engelland’s first visit to the country since 2007, and there are already plans to catch up with some of his former Philippine national team buddies, including a meeting with the ailing Samboy Lim sometime this week.

Engelland played a few seasons in the PBA when NCC played as a guest team and was part of the squad that captured the 1985 William Jones Cup in Taiwan, defeating a fancied United States selection.

He was in the process of having his naturalization papers secured when the Edsa People Power Revolution led to the disbandment of Cojuangco’s cage program.

But that didn’t prevent Engelland from keeping in touch with those he had been into a lot of cage wars from here and abroad.

“I couldn’t be more excited. I feel I’m home again. It feels really good,” he said.

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