MANILA, Philippines -- Sean Chambers will always consider their era as the "golden age" of the PBA, but he can't deny the talent and skill level of the league's current stars.
The resident import of the Alaska franchise in the 1990s, Chambers has kept track of the league even after his retirement and has seen the rise of new superstars, both among locals and the imports.
"I do think these guys are amazing," Chambers said during a recent interview on "Athlete's Tribune," where he also discussed his decision to apply for the head coaching position of University of Santo Tomas.
"I'm watching these PBA games, and I'm going, 'Oh my god, I don't remember playing that hard and that fast with that incredible athletic ability that you guys have'," he admitted. "I just don't remember us being that fast and being that incredible of athletes."
Upon reviewing old tapes of their own games, however, Chambers changed his mind.
"Let me back up -- we were that good," he said.
He takes pride in the era that he played in, and is confident that he and his peers can more than keep up with the current stars of the PBA.
In particular, he believes that players like Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiñera, and Marlou Aquino would shine in the league today.
"I do think that translates to how good we were back in our days. We would be able to hold our own," said Chambers.
"But I'm in awe when I watch the PBA," he also said. "I completely just love watching what some of the good imports are doing."
Among the local players, Chambers said he enjoys watching TNT superstar Jayson Castro, whom he considers "really good." Of course, he is also a big fan of San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo, the league's reigning MVP, and Ginebra veteran Japeth Aguilar.
Chambers got to work with them while they were preparing for the Southeast Asian Games in December, upon the invitation of Tim Cone, his former coach at Alaska.
"I was able to see the big guys with June Mar and Japeth. Work with those guys, and all the guards. I was amazed by the amount of talent and the size that they have," said Chambers.
"They're so much bigger than they were. Especially June Mar, amazing talent for his size," he added.
Make no mistake, however: Chambers will still take his guys against the league's current stars.
"It's hard to compare eras, but I feel our era was the golden age of the PBA," he said.
"I would put our era against anybody in the PBA."