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Kobe tells Gilas Five: Always play together

FIVE-TIME National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Kobe Bryant will no longer play for the US team in next year’s International Basketball Federation (Fiba) World Cup in Madrid, Spain.

“I love competing but I will let the young guys play and represent the country,” said Bryant, who donned the Team USA jersey in the Fiba Americas Championship in 2007, on Monday during an event promoting the latest Lenovo mobile phones at the Passion Restaurant at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

Bryant arrived from Beijing early Monday morning despite the bad weather wrought by Typhoon Labuyo.

“I had my fun playing, just leave the NBA championships to me,” added the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time Olympic gold medalist as he tries to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to another NBA title in the coming season.
Bryant never had the chance to play in the Fiba Worlds because he was either injured or had a prior commitment.

When told that Gilas Pilipinas earned the ticket to the World Cup, Bryant gave an unsolicited advice. He said that achieving the feat is already an incredible accomplishment but they have to be prepared to compete at a different level.

“They need to continue to play together. It is not the strength of the individual, but how well these individuals work together as a team,” said the 33-year-old basketball icon.

He added that communication inside and outside the playing court is key to play as a unit.

“Communication can accomplish a lot of things. But you need to do it as a team. It can hide the team’s weaknesses since if you know each other very well, you know how to support each other.”

Bryant flew in from Guangzhou, China, onboard an executive Gulf Stream jet chartered from World Wide 131, and touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 3 a.m. on Monday.

Bryant promoted Lenovo phones in the country and met fans in the event organized by Open Communication, the exclusive distributor of Lenovo Mobile and organizer in the country.

The superstar was met by John Rojo, business unit head of Open Communications, organizer of the Walang Iwanan World Tour.

Bryant also attended a basketball event at the Mall of Asia Atrium on Monday night.

In Photo: Open Communication Business Development Manager John Rojo (left) and Lenovo Worldwide Business Development VP JD Howard with Kobe Bryant. (Alysa Salen)






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