Heat Coach Spo makes Pinoys proud

Posted at 06/26/2012 6:12 PM

MIAMI - The heat is on in Miami as thousands of fans took to the streets for the Miami Heat’s 2012 NBA championship parade and celebration.

For the first Filipino-American coach to lead an NBA team to championship, Erik Spoelstra said it has been four days since Game 5, but it hasn't really sunk in yet.

“It hasn't totally sunk in yet that were champions but I'm sure we'll get used to it in the next few days," said Coach Spoelstra.

Filipino fans from all over the country, even from as far as Houston, Texas, came to cheer for their idols, specifically “Coach Spo.”

“Nag drive kami galing Houston papunta dito para lang mapanood ito. Die hard Miami Heat fans kami," said Dominic Ouano. “Coach Spo, you’re the best. The best coach in the whole world.”

Local Miami-based Pinoys also came out to cheer their team on, as they paraded down the main drag of the city.

“Proud to be Pinoy! Go! Coach! Mga Pilipino dito laging nakikilala sa buong mundo kagaya nga ng ating boxing champion na si Manny Pacquiao. This time is Coach Spo naman. Talagang proud to be Pinoy. Kahit maliit ang bansa natin, lumalaki dahil sa contribution ng mga Pilipino," said Chris Marquez.

The victory parade culminated at the American Airlines Arena, the home of the Miami heat.

Spoelstra said his celebration does not end with the parade. He is keeping his fingers crossed that his planned trip to the Philippines pushes through in several weeks.

“I’m proud to be Filipino, and I hope this opens more doors, or at least more eyes open, here in America, back in the Philippines, that dreams can come true," said Spoelstra.