Pinoy Pride: Filipinos Share in Coach Spo’s Victory

By Don Tagala, ABS CBN North America

June 21, 2013

JERSEY CITY – You can’t beat the ‘heat’, even in a sports bar full of San Antonio Spurs fans. For many Filipinos here, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s success only goes to show how talented Filipinos are in the field of basketball.

“Siyempre pinoy pride, kasi sa boxing medyo natatalo na tayo at least sa basketball meron pa ring pinoy na nananalo,” said fan John Ella.

Another Filipino spurs fan had a change of heart after the Heat took the NBA championship title.

“Coach Spoelstra should be coach of the year. He should even make it to the hall of fame,” said Mike Sta. Cruz.

It’s been said time and again that Filipinos are madly in love with a sport that doesn’t seem to love them back. But when it comes down to it, is it really about the love for the game or the thrill of beating the odds?

In Las Vegas, the odds looked good for Filipinos who bet on the Heat.

With courtside tickets to the NBA finals costing about $30,000 USD, Filipino sports fans in Sin City said they’d rather use that money to place their bets on a winning team.

” I took Miami minus 5.5 and the over for 50 bucks. So Miami had to win six points for me to win more than a hundred dollars,” explained Erick Colina.

In Los Angeles, like hundreds of other Heat fans like them, Erich and Magali Espinosa held a game 7 party in their home. The long time fans from Iloilo have been following the team since their first title under then assistant coach Erik spoelstra.

“It’s an accomplishment for Filipinos to be part of the history in the NBA,” Espinosa said.

In the Philippines, ‘kababayans’ have embraced the Miami Heat’s amazing championship winning streak because of their connection with the man fondly called ‘Coach Spo’, proving that indeed success has many parents – in this case, an entire nation.

9 Comments on this post.

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  • kikayPang0
    22 June 2013 at 3:49 am - Reply

    Without the big 3 Eric is nobody…….

  • Delia
    22 June 2013 at 4:33 am - Reply

    My congratulation to the players of Miami Heat Team .

  • Av
    22 June 2013 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Kikay- that is just about any other coaches that have won championships, popovich is no one without Tim Duncan, Phil Jackson is nobody without Jordan Kobe and shaq. So what is your argument here?

  • jorge buesa
    24 June 2013 at 10:07 am - Reply

    ComeOn People He is only Half Filipino ! His Dad was in BasketBall Long time with the Miami Heats when Eric was Growing up ! That’s why Eric is a SMART NBA COACH NOT BECAUSE HE IS FILIPINO! ! ! Yes he is only Half Filipino and you Should All Thank the Dad that’s why Eric is a Good Coach ! Only the Mother is Filipino !

    • medeliaright
      24 June 2013 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Still Filipino, Filipino is Filipino regardless of how you call it. Like being white, you are white no matter how they call you. Come on Jorge, don’t call yourself a Filipino if you are not proud of your heritage.

      • jr
        25 June 2013 at 5:36 pm - Reply

        @ Jorge Buesa… You sound like many young Filipino kids growing up in an adopted country, not having a good grasp of your Filipino heritage and are being brainwashed and whitewashed in your surrogate country. I feel sorry for you…

        • medeliaright
          26 June 2013 at 1:52 pm - Reply

          Yes indeed this dude probably is either someone kid or some kid who just got here not too long ago and pretending to be born here. Ang dali lang mahuli ng isang pretender, heat became heats, ang ibig nya bang sabihin ay HITS as in JOINT HITS !

  • jorge buesa
    24 June 2013 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Hey Medeliaright I’m proud of my heritage But I’m not Proud of People like you DON’T THINK RIGHT AND OPEN THEY MOUTH SAY STUPID THINGS ! You should think before you open your BIG MOUTH ! ! All I was saying is ERIC IS HALF FILIPINO WHAT’S WRONG WTH THAT ?

    • medeliaright
      24 June 2013 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      So you don’t like yourself then? You said you don’t like the people… And by your statement you are Filipino born in america… Then you should not say that you don’t like the Filipino people because you are, my friend, is A FILIPINO !