LOOK: Donovan Mitchell holds mini-clinic, attends PBA’s Manila Clasico

JR Isaga
LOOK: Donovan Mitchell holds mini-clinic, attends PBA’s Manila Clasico


The NBA Rookie of the Year candidate makes his Philippine visit worthwhile

MANILA, Philippines – The Spida is in Manila!

Donovan Mitchell, the reigning NBA Slam Dunk Champion and super rookie of the Utah Jazz, visited the Philippines for the first time to promote his shoe brand and have a meet-and-greet with some lucky Pinoy fans last Sunday, June 17.

The 21-year old got the best of what Manila had to offer right off the bat, as he got accompanied by local basketball talents in a press conference at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.


Flanked by Rain or Shine veteran Chris Tiu, Gilas cadet Kobe Paras and University of the Philippines’ Bright Akhuetie, Mitchell talked about overcoming uncertainties and adversities throughout his rookie campaign with the Jazz.

Everything certainly worked out well, as Mitchell finished with averages of 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists against the best players in the world.

He has evolved into one of the league’s fearless talents, and we really do mean fearless, as he made a pitch to recruit Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Paul George to join him in Utah before ending the presser.


He next went to the Taft Food by the Court food park to play with some lucky kids and fellow players. Despite nursing a left knee injury, Mitchell took the time for some dribbling drills with the youngsters.

No knee problems will stop those lethal handles.

Then the Spida participated in a 3-point shootout against his fellow pros and collegiate stars. Of course, leave it to a Gilas Pilipinas player to turn heads and show off talent.

Here’s Alejandro shoulder to shoulder with Mitchell in a group photo – the Spida seal of approval.

We’re sure Mitchell would have given anything to wow the Taft crowd with his skywalking jams, but at least they got a very solid replacement.

Anyone named Kobe has the tools to win a Slam Dunk Contest, apparently.

Here’s what the Taft crowd missed, though. They missed a LOT.

And of course, what would a Manila trip be for a basketball player without watching some PBA?

Mitchell chose the perfect day to stop by the basketball-crazed nation, as he got a chance to watch (and even commentate) the illustrious Manila Clasico rivalry between the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia Hotshots.

STAR VISITOR. Donovan Mitchell stops by the PBA to watch and commentate the Manila Clasico. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

There’s no word yet on whether or not Mitchell would return here one day, but really, with an unmatched basketball following like the Philippines has, who can resist? – Rappler.com


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