THE head coach of one of the most popular franchises in the National Basketball Association (NBA) will be in town on August for the first-ever NBA fitness program in Southeast Asia.

Filipino-American Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will spearhead the comprehensive health and wellness program from August 6 to 15. He will be joined by assistant coach David Fizdale, along with celebrity athletes and local health, fitness, and wellness experts.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

“NBA FIT is a terrific program and I am excited to return to the Philippines to promote the importance of healthy living to Filipino children and their families,” said Spoelstra.

“Basketball is such a huge part of my life and giving back to our community is meaningful to me. Being able to combine basketball and my heritage gives me great pride,” he added.

Among the expected highlights in the NBA Fit Week in Manila include free fitness and basketball activities such as cardio and kickboxing classes, Bollywood dance classes, urban fitness training, and contests.

NBA clinics will also be set up in the following areas for fans to get free nutritional counseling from experts and free BMI (body mass index) checks: SM North Edsa Annex on August 7 and 8, Far Eastern University (FEU) and De La Salle University (DLSU) on August 10, and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on August 15.

Basketball and fitness clinics will also be held in San Pablo Laguna.

On August 11, a total of 80 basketball hopefuls from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) will be trained using latest NBA techniques and will take part in hydration “sweat tests” and tailored nutrition seminars.

The near two-week program, on the other hand, will be culminated by the NBA FIT Fun Run in Taguig. Races will be held in 10K, 5K and 3K events with a total of 2,000 slots available on a first-come first-serve basis.

“Filipino NBA fans are extremely passionate about the league and this program will provide them with an authentic NBA experience in their own backyard,” said NBA Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NBA Asia Scott Levy. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)