1st Fil-Am in NBA expects more Pinoy college players

BERKELEY, Calif. – The University of California, Berkeley Bears celebrated the third annual Filipino Heritage Night with an 84-51 victory over Coppin State University.

And the Filipino community definitely made their presence known when Filipino American guard Brandon Chauca, the face of the only Filipino heritage night celebration in all of collegiate sports, checked into the game.

“It’s an honor to feel the support of the entire Filipino community,” said Chauca. “When I got out there, there was a big ovation so I think that just says a lot about the culture and where I come from and I’m just proud to represent more than myself.”

Chauca, who has seen his playing time reduced this season, was able to contribute two assists during his time on the court.

“We’re a really talented team this year so we have high expectations to obviously win the PAC-12 title and hopefully make some noise come March,” said Chauca. “My goal is always to win and obviously, personally I want to be able to contribute to my team and play more.”

As the first Fil-Am to play in the NBA, former Golden State Warrior Raymond Townsend is proud to see Chauca play at the collegiate level.

Townsend said, “People don’t understand PAC-12 basketball is tough and he’s learning at one of the highest levels so I think it not only will build his own dreams or give him the opportunity to reach his dreams but it also sends a message to all the young Filipino-Americans that they can play at this level.”

Townsend says that while he expects to see more Filipinos playing at higher competitive levels of basketball he emphasizes that school should remain a priority.

“The biggest thing that I preach or that I speak to young people about is to get educated in basketball, get educated in college, get your degree – that’s important, that’s your foundation,” said Townsend.

The Cal Bears currently have a record of 10 wins and three losses, with an undefeated home record (9-0).

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