Erik Spoelstra, Manny Pacquiao to Host Clinics in the Philippines

The two heroes of sport in the Philippines will work together to give back to the kids in that country. From ESPN: “Spoelstra said Monday he is finalizing an agreement with the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter to host a series of clinics in the Philippines next summer to promote sports and healthy lifestyles for youth in that country. Details are still in the works, but Spoelstra said the clinics would likely be held in Pacquiao’s hometown of Kibawe, Bukidnon. ‘Manny’s people actually got back to us the other day and said he was really interested in getting together to do something like this,’ Spoelstra said. ‘It’s for a good cause, and we’re really excited about the chance to do it.’ Spoelstra has traveled with members of the Heat’s coaching staff to the Philippines, his mother’s native country, the past two NBA offseasons to conduct basketball clinics. He is the first Asian/Filipino-American coach in any of the major American sports leagues and has been an avid fan of Pacquiao, who has reached iconic status in that country because of his victories in the boxing and political rings. Pacquiao, who has won world boxing titles in seven divisions, was elected earlier this year to a congressional seat in the Philippines. Both Spoelstra and Pacquiao have challenges ahead this week. After facing the Jazz, the Heat continues a six-game home stand by looking to avenge their season-opening loss to Boston on Thursday. Miami also plays the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, which is the same night Pacquiao returns to the ring to fight Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the World Boxing Council’s super welterweight title.”