National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Damian Lillard showcases his proficiency in Filipino in the first episode of Matuto ng Salitang Tagalog uploaded by the Portland Trail-Blazers. The series tests the ability of Lillard, Anfernee Simons, and Keon Johnson, to pronounce tongue twisters in the native language.
The cagers were asked to repeat phrases such as di kapanipaniwala, kagila-gilalas, patalastas, and several others, with Dame Time (like always) promoting his ability to perform under pressure. The seven-time All-Star delivered convincingly, remaining poised and confident in his enunciation.
Matuto ng Salitang Tagalog – episode 1
— Portland Trail Blazers Philippines (@trailblazersph) April 22, 2023
Damian Lillard is no stranger to the Philippines nor Tagalog-related challenges, visiting twice in the past decade. In 2014, the Special Olympics Global Ambassador participated a two-day basketball event in Manila, despite being reportedly riddled with fines and suspensions from the association. Dame D.O.L.L.A. reconnected with the community two years after, promoting his signature three-stripe silhouette, D Lillard 2, during the Adidas Take on Summer tour.
It’s safe to say that the country holds a special place in the NBA Superstar’s heart, mirrored by his generosity and contributions to fortify the nation’s love for the game. Only time will tell for the next Lillard sighting, though it should not be surprising if the superstar chooses to dock the Philippines.