MANILA, Philippines - Filipino-American coach Erik Spoelstra made history again on Thursday (Friday in Manila) when the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls to set up an NBA Finals series against the Dallas Mavericks.
Spoelstra will be the first Pinoy and first Asian coach in the NBA Finals.
It wasn't a walk in the park for the Heat. The Bulls were in control for the most part of the game.
The Heat caught up in the 3rd quarter but the Bulls were still ahead by 5 points, 62-57, at the start of the 4th quarter.
The Bulls brought this up to 12, 77-65, in the last 3 minutes of the game.
But with strong defense and the 3-point shooting of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, the Heat racked up 18 points, against only 3 for the Bulls, to take the series in Chicago's home court.
Spoelstra said he is proud of what his players showed during the game.
"We had to go through a lot of adversity together... the majority of the game was not going our way but this team has put up a lot of resiliency and toughness and to be able to still hang in there," he said.
"Our best players made the best plays," Spoelstra added.
The NBA Finals between the Heat and the Mavericks will start on Wednesday.
The game will be shown live at 9 a.m. over ABS-CBN Channel 2. -- Report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News