NBA title a product of coming together, sacrifices, says Spoelstra

Category : NBA All-Star Game


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NBA title a product of coming together, sacrifices, says Spoelstra

IN HIS FOURTH VISIT to the country, where he traces his heritage with a Filipino mother, Miami Heat champion head coach Erik Spoelstra brought home the trophy – literally.

As part of the National Basketball Association Trophy Tour, Spoelstra, whose mother, Elisa Celino, hails from San Pablo, Laguna, was in town last week, along with the Larry O’Brien championship trophy, to share his experiences in playing for, and winning, the NBA title with the Filipino fans.

Spoelstra steered the Heat to the championship over the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in June, becoming the first head coach with an Asian descent to win the title in league history.

It was the second NBA championship for “Coach Spo” as he was also part of the 2006 Miami championship team, dubbed “15 Strong,” as assistant to then coach and now Heat President Pat Riley.

In describing their latest championship, Spoelstra said it was a product of coming together and making sacrifices.

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Spoelstra maintains he’s every inch Pinoy

Category : Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat


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Spoelstra maintains he’s every inch Pinoy

MANILA, Philippines – For more than an hour, the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy sat quietly inside the room, covered in yellow satin.

It was unveiled even before the man of the hour, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoesltra, was called in and introduced to the press.

The NBA champion coach took his seat, smiled at those present, and dished out a warm Filipino greeting, “Mabuhay. Maraming salamat.”

Spoelstra, whose mother, Elisa Celino, hails from San Pablo, Laguna, looked to his right, and glanced at the two-foot, 14.5 lb trophy in 24 karat gold overlay.

“I haven’t seen that (trophy) for three or four weeks now. It looks pretty good,” said Spoelstra, more than a month after steering the Heat to the NBA championship over the Oklahoma Thunder.

He is the first coach of Asian descent to win an NBA title, and at 31, is perhaps the youngest as well. He is in the country as part of the NBA Trophy Tour, and its great outreach program.

Spoelstra has a very hectic schedule, which included yesterday’s press conference at Marriott Manila, and a meeting with President Aquino in Malacañang.

He was at the Smart Araneta Coliseum the other night for a glimpse of the PBA Governors Cup finals between Rain or Shine and B-Meg.

“We have a busy schedule this summer. But I asked some people to move everything around and make a way for me to be back here for at least a week,” said Spoelstra.

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By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star)

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