There is no scheduled visit by newly minted champion coach Eric Spoelstra to the Philippines under the NBA's outreach program, but that can change after the Miami Heat's victory in the NBA Finals.
The Fil-American coach has made two previous visits to his mother's homeland and had vowed last year to bring along the NBA trophy in his next trip if his Miami Heat win the title.
But for that to happen now, it may take either a personal commitment from Spoelstra himself or an overhaul of the American pro league's programs during its offseason.
“Officially, wala sa kalendaryo, no plans as of last meeting with the NBA people,” said Tessa Jasmines, head of the Larc & Asset PR Consultant, the firm that helps arrange Spoelstra and other top NBA personalities' visits to the country for NBA Asia.
“Pero now that Miami won, who knows?” she added.
Spoelstra, 41, is the first coach with Asian roots to win a title in any of North America's four major sports leagues. His mother is the former Elisa Celino, from San Pablo, Laguna.
He has spoken about his fondness for Filipino food like adobo and pansit and, during his victory speech on Friday, proclaimed his admiration for the Philippines' biggest sports hero, Manny Pacquiao.
He has taken a call from President Obama shortly after the Heat's victory and Malacanang has followed suit, saying the whole nation is thrilled over Spoelstra's achievement.
A Malacanang spokesperson also said Filipino fans would be thrilled if Spoelstra keeps his promise to come over with the Larry O'Brien trophy in hand.
"Oh, that would be good. Maraming fans si Coach Spo sa Pilipinas that would like to also convey their congratulations," she said. "And I'm sure a lot of fans will be excited."
Spoelstra paid a courtesy call to President Aquino during his visit last year.