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article imagePhl basketball fans await visit of Miami Heat coach Spoelstra

By Leo Reyes     Jun 28, 2013 in Sports
Philippine basketball fans as well as officials of the Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas (SBP) are looking forward to a possible visit to the Philippines by Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra to inspire the RP team in the upcoming FIBA-Asia tournament.
SBP, also known as the Basketball Federation of the Philippines, is the current national sports association for basketball in the country.
SBP President Manuel Pangilinan has sent an invitation to Filipino-American coach Erik Spoelstra to visit the Philippines again to watch the buildup games of the Philippine team scheduled for Aug.1 to 11.
The Philippine team, known as SMART-Gilas, is being mentored by Coach Chot Reyes, a seasoned coach in the county's professional basketball league.
“Boss MVP sent Coach Spo a congratulatory message and at the same time inviting him to come to the country to observe the training of Gilas Pilipinas and help us in our preparations in terms of, say, give the boys pep talk,” said national coach Chot Reyes.
Former Senator Robert Jaworski, a former member of the Philippine team that played in the FIBA-Asia competition many years ago said Spoelstra's visit will be beneficial to the team as they prepare for the FIBA-Asia competition.
"Great," basketball’s living legend Robert Jaworski, a member of Asian champion Philippine team the last time the country hosted the now FIBA-Asia 40 years ago, exclaimed by way of reacting to the Philippine News Agency report on Pangilinan’s invitation that came out in several issues of last Wednesday’s papers.
“I’m certain that coach Spo will be able to share many important facets of the game to both our coaches and players if, indeed, he will make it here,” Jaworski, “Jawo,” or the “Big-J” to his fans and a former “King Warrior” during his collegiate playing days, said.
During Spoelstra's visit last year, he had a chance to observe a practice game of Gilas but was non-committal of direct participation in the buildup games.
“I think anything more than me supporting the program as a distant fan, anything more than that, would probably be unrealistic,” Spoelstra said.
But basketball officials as well as fans say that a mere presence of the popular Heat coach is more than enough to inspire the team in their buildup game in preparation for the FIBA-Asia competition.
Spoelstra has yet to respond to the invitation by Manuel Pangilinan of SBP.
More about Basketball, Miami Heat, Erik spoelstra, philippine basketball, gilas
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