MANILA, Philippines – Former two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is currently in his first visit to the Philippines and has so far been impressed by the passion displayed by the people for the game of basketball.
During a press conference organized by Fun88 on Wednesday, Nash said that “I think it’s fantastic the game is so important here to people.”
Nash is the team manager of the Canadian national basketball team, which is participating along with 5 other nations in the FIBA Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Canada is currently 1-0 after winning its opening game against Turkey.
“Where there’s passion, there’s potential. I think here to play at home is fantastic, not just for this tournament and opportunity to go to the Olympics, but I think it’s fantastic for the growth of the game and this country, because we’ve seen a tremendous golden era of talent in Canada. And with tournaments like this, I think the Philippines can also have their own era of developing talent.”
The 8-time NBA All-Star received a loud applause from the Mall of Asia crowd on Tuesday when he was shown watching on the big screen during a break in the Canada-Turkey game.
Another win for the Canadians over Senegal would advance them to the next round of the tourney.
“It was a great win. These tournaments, there’s very little margin for error. You can’t give away an opportunity and last night I thought we outplayed Turkey,” said the 8-time All-Star.
“I don’t think either team played great to be honest, but I thought Cory [Joseph] was terrific and led us to victory.”
Joseph, a player for the Toronto Raptors, finished with 21 points and 5 assists in the win.
“We have a young team that’s building and hopefully as the tournament goes on, we get better and give ourselves an opportunity to play for a birth in Rio.”