International Spurs fans changing sleep patterns for the playoffs

KENS 5 talked to Spurs fans overseas to find out who their favorite players are and how they became fans of an NBA team so far away.

SAN ANTONIO - Can you feel it in the air? Spurs fans are ready for Round 2 of the NBA playoffs.

We're not just talking about it here in San Antonio either. International Spurs fans are changing their sleeping patterns so that they can enjoy Game 1 live.

It's no secret. Love for the Spurs comes from all ends of the Earth.

And rightfully so. The Spurs have six international players on the team: Joel Anthony from Canada, Davis Bertans from Latvia, Pau Gasol from Spain, Manu Ginobili from Argentina, Patty Mills from Australia, and Tony Parker from France.

The Spurs roster knows no boundaries. But "Spurs Nation" stretches even further.

Before a couple of overseas die-hard fans went to bed, they told KENS 5 how their love for the Silver and Black began.

"I've loved them since 2007, when the San Antonio Spurs won the NBA Finals," said James Tan, a Spurs fanatic who lives in Singapore.

KENS 5 interviewed Tan via Skype just before 1 a.m. Singapore time.

"I love the Spurs because, for me, they are not just a basketball team. They are such a big family. They share every happy moment together," Tan said. "They show me what basketball is supposed to be."

His favorite player of all-time?

"Actually, I have no favorite player among the Spurs. I love all of them. If I had to choose, I would choose Tim Duncan," Tan said. "I like the way he treats the opponents and how he treats the youngsters and the way he led the Spurs to be one of the championship contenders for 19 years."

The same goes for Angel Szche in the Philippines, who also loved Tim Duncan when he played, but now Angel’s got a new favorite.

"My baby Kawhi Leonard!" Szche explained. "It was so funny, my friends actually tease me and they call me Mrs. Leonard. It's only my dream, why not?"

The Spurs wake-up call is no problem for her.

"The games out here usually start around 3 a.m., 4 a.m., and, during that time, everyone else is sleeping," Szche noted. "I still wake up just to watch the game. It's an addiction."

Tan and Szche admire the team chemistry of the Spurs, and how the superstars of the team remain humble.

"The Spurs treat each other like family," Szches said. "They love to share the ball and they are so unselfish individuals out there and they respect each other."

Fans like Szche and Tan are not alone.

Spurs fans from around the world come together on Facebook groups dedicated for diehards. Among those groups:

Hardcore San Antonio Spurs Fans 24/7
Spurs Family 210
SAN ANTONIO SPURS FANS ONLY!

"Go Spurs Go! And I believe in six!" said Tan, referring to the Spurs' "Race for Seis."

Tan also said that his goal is to come to San Antonio and see a Spurs game next year. Since he never got to see Tim Duncan play in person, he at least wants to see Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker play before they retire.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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