NBA PILIPINAS (news from the other side of the world)

Manny Pacquiao, Apl de ap of Black Eyed Peas, Nicole of Pussycat Dolls, Charice, just to name a few, are names that make me proud to be a Filipino.

When Miami heat hit the rock bottom on 2007-2008 season, a new name emerged. In April 2008, Eric Spoelstra was named successor to legendary Miami Heat head coach Pat Riley. Eric is the first Filipino-American head coach in the NBA, as well as the first Filipino-American head coach of any North American professional sports team.

Four days ago Spoelstra visited the Phillipines to promote NBA FIT program in the country. NBA FIT is the league's health and wellness platform promoting healthy, active lifestyles for children and adults. A part of his visit is to give back to abandoned kids in our country. Instead of bringing less fortunate kids to him, Spoelstra went all the way to Manila Boys Town in Marikina, a government-owned facility for abandoned children in which he taught basic drills in basketball. Yesterday, Coach Spo brings NBA-type basketball clinic to lucky cagers of one of the most prominent University in our country, FEU Tamaraws that had swept all seven games in the first round of the 73rd UAAP men’s basketball. Coach Spo emphasized that hard work, discipline, sacrifice, and team work as lessons that basketball teaches. His visit gives inspiration and hope to Filipino basketball player to get better, because we are still waiting for the first Filipino NBA player.

Other NBA News.

NBA Asia Challenge, an exhibition game featuring NBA Legends, NBA Development League (NBA D-League) players, and current All-Stars and legends from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will return to the Philippines for the second consecutive year, and it will be staged at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, on Friday, Aug. 27 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

Last year’s NBA Asia Challenge featured six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a celebrity coach and an impressive roster of NBA Legends including Dominique Wilkins, "suns fave" Robert Horry, "crossover guru" Tim Hardaway, and Vlade Divac. The exhibition game gives a different kind of excitement to Filipino basketball afficionado.

Each team will be comprised of a mix of NBA Legends, NBA D-League players, and PBA All-Stars and Legends. NBA Legends headlining this year’s event include 2006 NBA champion and nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton; six-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber; 2002 NBA champion and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond; and 2000 NBA champion and 1997 NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Glen Rice.

PBA is the first and the oldest professional basketball league in Asia and second world's oldest next to NBA. Last year I failed to watch the exhibition game because I'm attending a review class, but this year I will probably watch the game..!

Can’t wait for my uncle to give me a free ticket..!!!