It’s been Kobe’s 8th trip to the Philippines and still, his presence leaves fans and followers wanting more. As this being his first trip since retiring, the tour focused on the Mamba Mentality. It’s all about 5 core principles – Passion, Obsession, Relentlessness, Resiliency, and Fearlessness. Throughout the trip, Kobe imbibed these principles to all those he encountered.
It was a very busy 2-day visit for Kobe and upon arrival, he hit the ground running. He first surprised over 30 runners from the Nike Run Club early in the morning soon after they finished their 10k run. Not only did he welcome them, he also pushed them further with an intense training regimen and other physical challenges.
He then went to the Ususan Basketball Court in Taguig, where he watched the basketball game and awarded the barangay a golden Nike/Kobe Bryant ball.
He then was able to meet a select group of media outlets for a quick glimpse of the Kobe Curriculum, the basic workout program of the Kobe Academy. The Press Conference was done soon after where he was able to talk more about the Mamba Mentality.
As an added boost of support, Kobe went on Facetime and spoke to our very own Gilas Pilipinas, who they themselves are in the midst of their own training program in preparation for the upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifiers.
The main event of the trip was the Mamba Mentality Night, held at the Araneta Coliseum. The pre-event was with several Nike athletes such as Richie Rivero, Thirdy Ravena, and a couple others. Nix Damn P and MC Pao Avila provided the beats and hyped the crowd up before the Mamba arrived.
Kobe gave a couple of drills to the UAAP selection and pitted them against 5 Nike athletes currently playing in the PBA. Kobe put them in a game-type situation where the kids needed to overcome an 8-point lead and hopefully close out the game with a win. Several times did Kobe push the team to exhibit their own Mamba Mentality – to work hard on every play, never give up and exude fearlessness, as they were playing against guys taller, faster, and more accomplished than they were.
What Kobe didn’t know was that Nike and the Philippine fans paid him a tribute by creating a mural as well as lighting up the arena with their flashlights in honor of the Mamba. Kobe expressed his gratitude and reciprocated the love given to him. Stay tuned for the recap of his 2nd day in Manila.