ABS-CBNnews.com | 10/08/2013 7:05 PM
MANILA, Philippines - The Indiana Pacers are joining the fight against diabetes in the Philippines.
The Pacers, in their visit to Manila, partnered with Eli Lilly and Company, the Department of Health and other health groups in launching the "Diabetes League," which aim to raise awareness against the disease and help Filipinos in the fight against diabetes.
"In time for the Indiana Pacers' first visit in the Philippines, Eli Lilly Philippines Inc. is taking this historic opportunity to showcase the health partnership," Eli Lilly Philippines president and general manager Reynaldo dela Cruz, Jr. said in a statement.
"Filipinos are known to be among the world's foremost fans of basketball, and we want to also be known for being among the world's leading advocates in the fight against diabetes," he added.
Present during Monday's launch at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza were Indiana Pacers team president Jim Morris, as well as players Danny Granger, Chris Copeland, Orlando Johnson and Solomon Hill.
"The Indiana Pacers and Eli Lilly have the strongest possible partnership and friendship, and we have had that friendship for more than 40 years," said Morris.
"There is no pharmaceutical company, no health related industry anywhere in the world that has made a stronger commitment to addressing the evils and difficulties of diabetes that Eli Lilly and Company," he added.
Morris noted that the corporate offices of Eli Lilly are located "just six blocks away from where we play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse" in Indiana.
Also present during the launch was DOH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, who energized the crowd with a dance number, and leaders of various associations leading the fight against diabetes.
The Pacers are in Manila to play the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the NBA Global Games, the first-ever pre-season game to be held in the country. -- Report from Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com.