Filipino lightweight Trestle “Jun Minion” Tan’s basketball background is always converted to the competitive fire he brings inside the ONE Circle.
At the same time, while maintaining physical fitness is a challenge for many, for the 34-year-old Vietnam-based athlete, it comes naturally from the things he loves.
Tan’s self-professed love for basketball has kept him in tiptop shape in and out of training camp.
“Basketball is a sport I grew up with besides boxing in the Philippines,” Tan shared.
“Basketball was very popular in the Philippines, actually until now. Everyone plays it starting at a young age with every little village having a basketball court.”
“Martial arts is my true and real passion, but basketball is just a part of my life and gives me a lot of joy and extra fulfillment.”
Competing inside the cage competitively for almost nine years, Tan admitted that basketball has been an essential part of his training regimen.
Tan plays basketball in a local league in Ho Chi Mink named “Taya Basketball League” twice a week which is also being televised on a local channel in Vietnam.
“I play as forward under Team El Gaucho, and I’m proud to say that we’re leading the team standings at the moment,” Tan said.
“Basketball really helps me to stay fit especially in terms of cardio. Sprinting along the court is quite a good workout, especially in the heat outside. But of course it’s not my main training, but a good hobby that has a benefit on my cardio too.”
Tan shared that he started playing basketball when he was in high school because his mother didn’t allow him to continue boxing and fight at a young age. Blessing in disguise, he ended up in the varsity basketball team and receive a free scholarship for his studies which was a big help to his parents who were having a hard time providing education to him and his eight siblings.
“After my mother forced me to stop boxing, I tried a lot of sports in school such as running, track and field, discus throw, or whatever sport and I really didn’t like it at all. Then I ended up doing some random group sports such as Sepak Takraw or volleyball and finally basketball,” Tan said.
“I fell in love with basketball because I felt quite good at it and I was quite tall at that age, I had quite some advantage too.”
“But even though I had quite a successful career at a young age in basketball, I nevertheless always felt something missing in my life and it was martial arts that gave me the true fulfillment in my life.”
A huge fan of Michael Jordan, Tan feels inspired by Jordan’s skills and versatility which are the blueprint he’s been following at the moment as an athlete.
“He is the GOAT in basketball in my opinion. I can’t even explain why exactly. If you watch him play, you will appreciate the sport more.”
“He is really dynamic and played other sports such as golfing and baseball, showing that you can be an all-around athlete in different types of sports too.”
Inspired by his basketball idol, Tan looks to continue performing at his best, both as a basketball player and a mixed martial artist.
“Of course I don’t want to compare myself to him, but I feel inspired and related to him as a person who aims to become better and better in life.”