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Pinoy sports psychologist thrilled for chance encounter with NBA stars

Marcus Manalo with NBA players from France.

By JONAS TERRADO

A sports psychologist who is part of Team Philippines recently shared a chance encounter with NBA players Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum of France.

Marcus Manalo of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) posted on social media a picture with Gobert, Fournier and Batum inside the Athletes Village.

Manalo said he handed his Team Philippines pin to Gobert, who told him that he will hand it over to Utah Jazz teammate Jordan Clarkson.

Clarkson once represented the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia where Gilas Pilipinas placed fifth in men’s basketball.

The NBA Sixth Man of the Year, whose mother traces her roots to Pampanga, had expressed his interest to play for Gilas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, but status as either a local or a naturalized player has yet to be determined with finality by world governing body FIBA.

Manalo congratulated Gobert, Fournier and Batum, who last season played for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers, on taking home a silver medal in men’s basketball.

France lose to the United States, 87-82, on the penultimate day of the Tokyo Games last Saturday, Aug. 7.

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