NATIONAL Basketball Association (NBA) player Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves said that the Gilas Pilipinas is up to a tough task when it competes in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup in Madrid, Spain.
The 6-foot-10 Love said that the Philippine team under head coach Chot Reyes must give their 100 percent in every game because their opponents are tough and tall.
“Every participating country in the FIBA world is very competitive offensively and defensively, so they must play tough as a team,” Love, 25, who averaged 26.1 points and 12.2 rebounds per game last season, told The Manila Times.
“It’s not easy to play in the World Cup, every team must work hard. If you work hard, things will happen,” added the fifth overall rookie pick of the Timberwolves in the 2008 NBA rookie draft. “Enjoy the game and give your best.”
He also said that he is looking forward to meet the Philippine team in the FIBA World Cup in Spain later this year since he is going to play for the United States team. Love is part of the American team that won gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics and the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
“Maybe US has a chance to play team Philippines in the World Cup. I’m looking forward to it.”
The high popularity of basketball in the Philippines surprised Love. “I thought boxing is popular here because of Manny Pacquiao, but it seems basketball is more popular,” said the 2012 NBA All-Star three-point shooting champion.
Love and Philippine Basketball Association player Chris Tiu of Rain or Shine conducted basketball clinic for the children of Boystown Manila as part of the Master Gameface All-Star Challenge Year 2 on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.