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"It's true that he's like his idol LeBron James" - Coach raves about Philippines' LeBron Lopez

For obvious reasons, the 6-foot-5 wing player has been generating buzz, but what many didn’t know is that Francis has also proven he deserves the moniker, “The Filipino LeBron James”
Francis "LeBron" Lopez and LeBron James

Francis "LeBron" Lopez and LeBron James

LeBron James is a four-time NBA MVP, 18-time NBA All-Star, four-time NBA champion, and regarded by many as the greatest basketball player of all time. All told, one has got to be truly exceptional to be likened to "King James." Perhaps, that has been the case for Filipino-Nigerian wonderkid Francis "LeBron" Lopez of the Philippines.

The Filipino LeBron James

Having honed his skills in one of the premier high school basketball teams in the Philippines, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, Lopez joined the crop of teenage basketball prospects in the country. For obvious reasons, the 6-foot-5 wing player has been generating buzz, but what many didn't know is that Francis has also proven he deserves the moniker "The Filipino LeBron James." Among those who attested it was one of his high school coaches, Ford Arao.

According to Arao, "the future is limitless" for Lopez as he is already "strong, agile, athletic, versatile, can dribble the ball, can shoot from the three, can attack the rim and block shots" as early as now. And yes, Arao is certain the 19-year-old resembles the game of the real LeBron James.

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"Almost all the qualities of a good basketball player, he has already. And It's true that he's like his idol LeBron James," Arao told Philippine-based outlet Spin.

However, Arao also noted that as impressive of a player he already is, Francis also has some room for improvement.

"Francis has that tendency to keep on bullying his way to the basket even if the defense was already crowding him, but to be fair with Francis, he can really bully his way to the basket," Arao stressed. "Basketball would be a lot easier for him if he knows how to read the game better."

What are the chances of playing overseas?

Currently, Lopez is playing for the Philippines' Gilas youth team and is competing at the 31st Southeast Asia Games in Vietnam. He seems to be on the right path, but the biggest question thus far is- what are the chances of Lopez playing overseas as a pro? Particularly in the NBA?

For Arao, it is a possibility as long as Francis wouldn't let adversities hinder his progress.

"The only thing that will stop him from going to where he wants to go is himself, but if he will focus and put a lot of work to achieve his goal, I think he has a big chance of making it overseas," the coach declared.

Arao could be right but let's just wait and see how things will pan out for "The Filipino LeBron James."

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