Spoelstra pushes Eala to pursue aspiration

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
Spoelstra pushes Eala to pursue aspiration
Alex Eala with Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, left, and coach Erik Spoelstra.
Photo from Miami Heat twitter account

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino tennis and basketball stars shared a rare, beautiful moment together as teen sensation Alex Eala met coach Erik Spoelstra in the backstage of the Heat’s NBA game against the New York Knicks yesterday at the Miami-Dade Arena in Florida.

The 17-year-old Eala received a warm welcome from Spoelstra, the seasoned Filipino-American NBA mentor, as she dropped by to see the Heat play in the aftermath of her early exit in the prestigious Miami Open the other day.

Spoelstra encouraged Eala, accompanied by her father Mike, to never give up on her tennis aspirations with hopes of seeing her again in the Miami Open next year.

“Come through again in the Miami Open next year and hit us up next,” beamed Spoelstra on her compatriot who’s making waves and bringing honor and glory to the Philippines.

Eala’s pep talk with Spoelstra, together with Heat star center Bam Adebayo proved as a lucky charm with Miami beating New York, 127-120, to climb to 40-34 at No. 7 in the Eastern Conference.

Spoelstra, who won two NBA championships and has been recently named in the NBA’s 15 Greatest Coaches, also promised to go see and support Eala in her next Miami tourney.

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