Philippines, 19 Jul 2019
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COACH SPO A SOURCE OF FILIPINO PRIDE


PhilBoxing.com




MANILA (PNA) -- In boxing, “Erik” means Morales. In basketball, it is Spoelstra. Spoelstra, in basketball, is the coach of back-to-back NBA champions Miami Heat. “Spo” to the basketball community,is a Filipino. Half Filipino, that is. And as such, he now commands 90 million or so following from the country of his mother’s origin.

For gifting South Florida, a pair of NBA championships, Spo has suddenly become a national hero … a treasure. People from all walks of life now consider him an inspiration. Pride of the nation. In the mold, perhaps, of eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao.

“Miami was lucky enough to have the Big Three in LeBron James, Duayne Wade and Chris Bosh – it also has a very talented and coach. I’m proud to be a Filipino. Every Filipino should be proud of him,” former Congressman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, now the president of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, said of the basketball guru.

Pichay’s sentiment was shared by communications mogul and Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan, Philippine sports Commission chair Richie Garcia, first Filipino chess Grandmaster Eugene Torre and 13 other sportsmen.

“We’re happy for coach Spo. Basta Pinoy, suportahan nain, “Pangilinan, ‘MVP” to the business and sports sectors who will be presiding over Philippines’ hosting of the coming FIBA-Asia championship, said, adding: “Go Spo for the third (title).”

“Iba talaga ang Pinoy,” PSC chair Garcia, for his part, said. “I really never doubted Miami to win the crown, knowing that it has a Pinoy Coach.”Sana maging inspirasyon siya ng ating mga atleta who will represent our country in the coming Southeast Asian Games.”

“Like a true Filipino, coach Spo was cool under pressure in the entire best-of-seven finals against the San Antonio Spurs,” Torre said. ”His coolness had influenced the likes of LeBron, Wade and their teammates to play a never-say-die attitude that carried them from adversities after another.”

“Truly inspiring,” Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio eloquently put his admiration to Spoelstra, whose mother Elisa hails from San Pablo City in Laguna. “Spo was a picture of poise even when they were on the brink of losing the series. Leading his team to a two-straight NBA championships is an incredible feat. I’m proud of him.”

“Proud to be Pinoy,” PBA buddies Alvin Parimonio and Jerry Codinera chorused as they were joined former pro cagers Atoy Co, Jimmy Mariano, Fritz Gaston, coach Norman Black, Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio and educator Peter Cayco.

“I’m proud that a Pinoy is making history in the international sporting stage as the NBA,” Co, many-time councilor of Pasig City, averred. “Indeed, coach Spo is an inspiration for all of us Filipinos because he just showed what a Filipino is capable of doing.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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