TAGUIG CITY – After witnessing how rabid were the Filipino fans during the FIBA World Cup held in his home country of Spain last year, Ricky Rubio could not wait to visit the Philippines. The Minnesota Timberwolves star guard finally got his chance when adidas flew him in for the Take On Manila Tour.
“No wonder they were named as FIBA’s Most Valuable Fans,” said Rubio as he met the local media Friday (August 21) at the adidas Store in Bonifacio Global City. Despite flying in the night before, Rubio gamely answered questions and interacted with selected fans that won various promos for the chance for a meet and greet session.
Although Spain never got to play the Philippines in the World Cup, Rubio observed that the Filipino style of play is very close to the NBA. He advised Filipinos to take advantage of their speed to make up for lack of height.
After the media conference, Rubio underwent a whirlwind of activities. Braving the rains of the last few days, he went to Anda Street in the heart of Intramuros for a game with street ballers and adidas ambassadors, stopping by for a photo op at the Rizal Monument.
The following day, Rubio showed his love and passion for his other sport Football as he met with national players Phil and James Younghusband and some kids for a clinic at The Circuit in Makati City. He then motored to the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City for a kiddie basketball clinic and a scrimmage with adidas ambassadors and local celebrities.
Football has helped a lot in Rubio’s basketball success and he strongly encourages players to cross-train during the offseason. “Football strengthened my cardio and improved my footwork,” he said.
Going back to basketball, Rubio believes that aspiring players must possess or do five things to succeed – passion, share the ball, smarts, work hard and enjoy the game. The youth can find great credence in these tips coming from someone who began playing professionally at the age of 14.
His NBA team the Timberwolves are on a youth movement as one of the teams to watch out for in the next few seasons. “Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins will become an MVP one day,” he said about his 19-yer old teammate and fellow adidas ambassador.
The Timberwolves are coming off a 16-66 season, the franchise’s second worst since going 15-67 in 1991-1992, their third year of existence and Rubio was still a one-year old baby. For as long as they dream big, set the bar high and believe in the team while staying healthy, they can do it.
Rubio was seen in most of his activities donning the adidas Crazylight Boost in Blue colorway. The shoe features a Primeknit upper and has the latest Boost cushioning technology and is available at adidas stores for a suggested retail price of PHP 7,995.00.
Two days is not enough to see the Philippines for a confessed avid traveler like Rubio as his schedule has him jetting to Dubai immediately after his Manila sojourn for another Take On Tour stop. He would definitely love to come back with his usual companions consisting of either his family or long-time friends.