Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu 3

NBA players Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trail Blazers, and NBA legend Avery Johnson

NBA players Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trail Blazers, along with NBA legend Avery Johnson, will teach the finer points of basketball at the first-ever Gatorade NBA Training Center in the Philippines, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Gatorade announced yesterday. The Gatorade NBA Training Center is a partnership between the world’s number one sports drink, Gatorade, and the NBA, bringing together elite athletes and top instructors in the fields of basketball, fitness and conditioning, and nutrition. The Gatorade NBA Training Center will be held at the Gatorade Hoops Center at Mandaluyong City on September 11, 2014.

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu

La Salle University’s Jeron Teng, Ateneo’s Von Pessumal, Far Eastern University’s Mike Tolomia, and University of Santo Tomas’ Kevin Ferrer (Photos from Juice.ph, BallersPinas.com, and Yahoo! Sports)

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu 2

Gatorade PBA Rookie Draft including Chris Banchero, Kevin Alas, and Rodney Brondial (Photos from ASEAN Basketball League, Sports Hub Cebu, and Full Court Fresh)

Lopez, Matthews and Johnson will share their training techniques with Filipino college basketball stars such as La Salle University’s Jeron Teng, Ateneo’s Von Pessumal, Far Eastern University’s Mike Tolomia, and University of Santo Tomas’ Kevin Ferrer, as well as recent draftees from the Gatorade PBA Rookie Draft including Chris Banchero, Kevin Alas, and Rodney Brondial. Johnson will also share his coaching philosophy with local professional and collegiate coaches in a special coaches session. 

“I am very excited for my first visit to Manila and look forward to participating in the inaugural Gatorade NBA Training Center in the Philippines,” said Avery Johnson. “The Philippines has tremendous basketball potential, as we’ve all seen recently on the world stage, and I am eager to share my skills and knowledge with the country’s future stars.”

The next day, they will fly to Northern Cebu to help communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Lopez, Matthews, and Johnson will support the NBA’s ongoing commitment to help children and families affected by the disaster rebuild their lives by visiting affected communities like Compostela Municipality and conducting basketball clinics for the local children.

“Typhoon Yolanda caused sweeping destruction on a national scale, and those who were most impacted are still coping with its devastation months after,” said Carlo Singson, NBA Country Manager, Philippines. “The residents in Northern Cebu are one such group, and we support World Vision Philippines’ tireless efforts to help the city and its communities rebuild. We hope our visit will help lift the spirits of the people of Northern Cebu as the city continues its road to recovery.”

“The NBA has assisted World Vision’s emergency responses in the past, and we are grateful for the continued support,” said Josaias T. dela Cruz, Executive Director, World Vision Development Foundation. “We are happy to host the upcoming visit of Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Cebu, and our community partners, especially the basketball-loving children, will be delighted to meet with the NBA players in what we trust will be a fun and meaningful exchange for both the NBA visitors and the local community.”

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu 4

 Lopez is the Portland Trail Blazer’s center

Lopez, Matthews, and Johnson are some of NBA’s most popular players. Lopez is the Portland Trail Blazer’s center, and was selected as the 15th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft. He was also named as one of the 2006 McDonald’s All-American Game and the 2008 Pac 10 All-Defensive Team. His twin brother Brook Lopez plays for the Brooklyn Nets.

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu 5

Wesley Matthews plays for the Trail Blazers as guard

Like Lopez, Wesley Matthews plays for the Trail Blazers as guard. His professional highlights are being named Mr. Basketball for the State of Wisconsin in 2005 and signing with the Portland Trail Blazers as a free agent in 2010. He comes from a basketball background as his father is Wes Matthews, who played for the Washington Bullets until he retired in 1998. The elder Matthews also played for the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA in 1991.

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu 6

Avery Johnson is a recognized NBA superstar

Avery Johnson transitioned from playing to coaching, but his playing career is one for the books. He was part of the San Antonio Spurs when they won the NBA championship in 1999, and he won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 1988. As coach, he led the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA finals and four consecutive 50+ season wins. In 2006, he won both NBA Coach of the Year and All-Star Game Head Coach.

Together, Lopez, Matthews, and Johnson will work to help rebuild communities in Cebu.

The NBA Family has contributed more than $2.2 million in support of Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts, including a $250,000 contribution to World Vision in November 2013 by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). In November 2013, the 2013 Jr. NBA Philippines All-Stars visited Los Angeles as part of their NBA Experience trip and—on behalf of the Philippines Red Cross—accepted a $150,000 contribution by the Los Angeles Lakers, which was presented by Lakers star Kobe Bryant at center court of the Staples Center.

In August 2014, the NBA partnered with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines to bring NBA Legend Derrick Alston and WNBA Legend Allison Feaster to the Philippines to participate in sports diplomacy activities. The envoys visited disaster-hit Leyte and Cebu City to donate books and basketballs and participated in school construction and tree planting.

Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Avery Johnson to Visit Manila and Cebu






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