MANILA, Philippines – In just a short trip, NBA star Kevin Love, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, spent his Friday morning doing something meaningful for Filipino basketball fans on and off the court. Love is in town for the Master Game Face All-Star Basketball Challenge.
Upon arriving for the first time in Manila, Love took time to visit and played with the kids at the Manila Boystown in Marikina and conducted an hour-long basketball clinic with 60 orphans from the community.
But shortly after his arrival, the rain threatened to pour; however, it didn’t stop them in having fun and just took the basketball clinic indoor.
Later that day, in the press conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati, Love was asked on what he thinks about the Philippines qualifying for the series.
“I will just tell them to enjoy it. But I hope they’re not too good,” said Love who drew chuckles from the crowd.
After the press conference, Love hosted a charity auction that benefited the kids at the Manila Boystown to help restore their basketball court. Merchandise from 361 degrees bags, jerseys, etc. were auctioned including the signed Kevin Love replica jersey from the Minnesota Timberwolves, which was won by PBA player Marc Pingris who made a P27,000 bid.
The following day, Araneta Coliseum hosted the Master Game Face Challenge where Love participated in the 3-point shootout and the skills challenge.
Love shot for both Team Chris and Team Marc, contributing 15 points after shooting first for Team Chris. Chris Tiu got 17points while Kevin Ferrer and Jeff Chan having 13-point each. Needing to score 23 points for Pingris’ team to win the contest, Love scored huge points for Team Marc that went along with Jeric Teng and Roi Suman scoring 13 points each and Gary David’s 10 points, but it was not enough to beat Team Chris’ squad who won with 135-100.
The second event that Love participated was the Shooting Stars competition where he formed his own team,a selection from Team Chris and Team Marc. Team Kevin prevailed as Love hit the half-court shot to seal the win at 1:08.
Right after the game, Love returned to the US but shared his plan of coming to the Philippines.
“I enjoyed the time. It has been great, and I plan on coming back, I love it! We love the Philippines!”Love said via Philippine Star.
-Klyte Faye C. Veloso
LNU ABCom Intern