Philippines Ready For Its NBA Close-Up

For the many NBA players and coaches who have participated in the league’s outreach programs through the years, there’s a familiar feel to many of their global stops. The players are recognizable to the locals, exotic in some ways, but mostly they’re simply famous. There’s little to distinguish the oohs and aahs a Kevin Durant might hear from those triggered by a Kardashian.

Except, it seems, in the Philippines.

“When we bring players or legends or coaches over to the Philippines, we often prep them that they’re not going to get ‘What did you eat for breakfast?’ questions,” said Scott Levy, senior vice president and managing director of NBA Asia. “They’re going to get ‘Why did you take out LeBron James in the third quarter with an eight-point lead when momentum was shifting against your team?’ It’s incredibly detailed, incredibly knowledgeable, and people there follow the entire league.”

The rabid interest in basketball and the NBA in particular spilled over earlier this week with the news that the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers will play a preseason game Oct. 10 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. Announced by commissioner David Stern on the arena’s Jumbotron, the event will be one of eight October games staged in six different countries, none with a more intense NBA following than this nation of 92 million in the western Pacific Ocean.

The Rockets-Pacers visit will be the first sanctioned NBA game in the Philippines since 1979, when the Washington Bullets traveled there to face a team of national All-Stars. But the Philippines Basketball Association predated that event by several years and the sport, Levy said, has roots there dating to the late 19th Century.

The NBA’s popularity rivals that of native boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. More Facebook “likes “and Twitter “follows” of the league and its participants come from the Philippines than from any other nation outside the U.S. Thirty games are available on free and cable TV each week there, with League Pass and an Web site specific to that country both available. Billboards and buses tout the game.

“You really get a feel for it when you go into the country,” said Levy, who has worked with the NBA’s international division since 1996 and been based in Hong Kong since 2009. “I mean, there’s a basketball hoop in every corner,Β  everywhere throughout the country. And often those hoops are made of plywood and wire rims.

“There are some great photos of kids playing during the floods and they’re waist-deep in water. They’re playing in flip-flops, they’re playing on dirt courts. There’s no community that I’ve seen — and I’ve traveled extensively around the country — that doesn’t have a court. And I’ve never seen a court unused.”

Through its Basketball Without Borders program and other outreach efforts, the NBA is familiar with the sort of poverty and deprivation that make attendance at one of its games — including the upcoming one — strictly a dream for many Filipinos. The league hadn’t returned to stage a game in 34 years because, until the MOA Arena opened in May, the facilities were inadequate.

But Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who is half-Filipino (his mother is frpom San Pablo, Laguna), has traveled to his homeland in each of the past four offseasons. Last summer, he brough the Larry O’Brien trophy with him, celebrating Miami’s championship with the fans, many of whom now are fans of the Heat.

“It staggers our players how popular the NBA is here, 10,000 miles away,” Spoelstra said during his 2012 visit.

And last week, of the October exhibition, the Heat coach said: “It’s awesome. The country will probably celebrate every single month until that game. The two teams that will be going there I think will have a great experience because the fans are incredible.”

Numerous NBA players past and present have visited the country and, Levy said, been stunned by the reception. Among them: Brook Lopez, Gary Payton, Chris Webber, Mitch Richmond, Robert Horry, Glen Rice, Dominique Wilkins and Luc Longley. “They all have the same reaction,” Levy said. “They never understood the awareness. They come over and expect they’ll be known, but they never anticipated how well they’d be known, how they’d be recognized on the street, how long the lines would be to get an autograph or take a photo.”

The best-known NBA export to play in the PBA probably was Billy Ray Bates, a 6-foot-4 guard best remembered for his three seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers in the early 1980s. “He’s an incredible hero there,” Levy said. “There are guys like Donnell Harvey, guys who had a cup of coffee in the NBA and are there now. They [allow] imports in the PBA, so there are guys who played in the D League.”

As far as players there coming to play in the NBA? No one yet. But Japeth Aguilar, a 6-foot-9 forward, attracted the attention of some NBA scouts and got a training camp invite for the Santa Cruz Warriors. And even without getting into the basketball analytics of Filipino basketball, Levy said the math looks favorable.

“With the number of people who play the game in the country,” he said, “in a country of nearly 100 million people, you would think there would be some talent coming out of there that would be NBA-ready.”


  1. gabriel says:

    how much is the ticket? where do i buy tickets?is it at all SM? i need to watch this. THANKS

  2. MANG KANOR says:


  3. THE BUTCHER says:


  4. willie says:

    aurguably, tony harris (boston celtics) , not billy ray bates, is the most popular….
    Miami heat will be champions again (GO, Coach SPO!) vs. OKC. i hope my dallas mavs get to the WCF….hahaha πŸ™‚

  5. Lakers4ever says:

    Michael Jordan come here to the Philippines coz we loved you even you’ve retired…!!!! Hakeem, kidd, david robinson, ewing, magic, lebron, wade, bosh,Gasol bros., drexler too..

  6. James MgLern says:

    @Ginobili, SA Spurs fan commenting – EXTRA NICE! That’s my Western Conference team and the Boston Celtics is my Eastern conference team. Love the old school, hard-nosed defense, no-nonsense team play of both the Spurs and the Celtics. Great coaches i Pop and Doc, too! (Wonder how Pop would go about answering PH basketball media. Haha!) Although over-all a Celtics fan ever since the Bird-McHale-Parish era; waylaid only when HIS AIRNESS conquered the Hoops world (and eventually every crook and cranny of the globe!), but came back home to Boston when MJ retired. With that said, next time bring the BOSTON CELTICS and the SAN ANTONIO SPURS in the Philippines. Or if you want everybody happy, bring the CELTICS-LAKERS rivalry in Manila! Now that could be the THRILLA IN MANILA PART 2!!! How’s that for a marketing angle?

  7. jo spurs says:

    I am avid fan of NBA.. Please bring here also my favorite team SAN ANTONIO SPURS.. specially the original big three.. Duncan, Ginobili & Parker.

  8. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:


    GRANT HILL was here…
    T-MAC was here….
    SHAQ was here….
    come on LeBron… ur coach is a Filipino….

  9. Mj says:

    Every filipino guys dream,NBA in the PHILIPPINES

  10. Mj says:

    Oh man this is a any filipino guys dream,NBA in the PHILIPPINES

  11. MaFox says:

    the reason why a filipino has never gotten into the NBA is cause they can’t play D

  12. dArk Angel says:

    i really love the NBA and it all started with “His Airness” MJ23. now i really look up to Kevin Durant and the OKC Thunder and i hope the Heat and the Thunder will soon play in the Philippines. thanks, Scott Levy and the NBA, for choosing our country.

  13. John says:

    Good ill be there on that day..sad heat not going to phil and play against good team..but thats ok tnx nba

  14. lloyd says:

    lakers vs heat it will be a dream come true if it will played in philippines kobe le bron common

  15. nero says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it…NBA will play in our hometown Philippines, We really love watching basketball than any other sports. Finally!!!!

  16. Morbz says:

    Yes! Two of my favorite teams will battle it out here in the Philippines! Keep it up, NBA!

  17. kiankent says:

    awesome.we love Basketball. we love waching NBA games Finally..

  18. Filipinos are crazy for basketball. I am a Filipino and thank you NBA for giving us this oppurtunity.

  19. Filipinos are crazy for basketball. And as stated in the article, in every place you go here , there are basketball courts. I am a Filipino and we Filipinos love Basketball. i am so excited for the said game.

  20. JhogzMAVS says:

    Thats great Stern!! Hope you try it with a REGULAR SEASON. Bring THE MAVERICKS AND HEAT HERE!! a look back for the championship of MAVS!!

  21. LIBRON says:

    I want Lebron!! hahaha IHAHANDA na ang PANGMALAKASAN!!! ^_^ LOL

  22. Cj says:

    Philippines was one of the best place to celebrate NBA games. Every Filipino is a basketball crazy fan. I remember when I was younger I just go home from school between breaks just to watch the NBA championships in the 1995-1998 season (Bulls era days). Just watching the game alone gives joy to the Filipinos. It would be a lifetime memory if the NBA will be playing in the Philippines. Thanks NBA for considering visiting again the PEARL OF THE ORIENT SEAS. You are always welcome and we love the NBA. Bring the stars for the fans to see them in personal!

  23. I feel this is among the so much significant information for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. However want to commentary on few normal issues, The site style is ideal, the articles is really nice : D. Good activity, cheers

  24. Michael Lucero says:

    I’m very proud that the Philippines was recognized by NBA, there’s a lot of NBA Players already come to our country, because we love basketball so much, every Pilipino is always watching NBA games in TV and internet. we support also what ever the NBA players is promoting, for health, sport drinks, sport shoe or whatsoever…thanks for bringing the preseason game to the Philippines, waiting for a lot more, more power to NBA. Goodluck to Japeth Aguilar hope that NBA scout can see your potential…

  25. V says:

    Good to hear that there will be an pre-season game of NBA in the Philippines. Filipinos will love it and will be talking about it for years. We’ve seen Harden playing in exhibition game together with Kobe, Durant, Rose, and Chris Paul among others so we’ll expect a very high intensity, very high octane game from him together with Jeremy Lin facing Indiana Pacers. We had lots of good Filipino players with a possible talent in playing in the NBA. Hope to see Filipinos playing in the NBA in the future.

  26. PG says:

    Thanks NBA! this is BIG for us

  27. i am a pilipino man i want tobe ang nba player soon dreams is coming so ihave to practice or training so that i play or i can play in nba thanks lord….

  28. Jack says:

    great article Steve, addition we would like to thank of course BTV of Solar led by Wilson Tieng who if im not mistaken was in contract with the NBA rights to show it in household tubes, Solar added ABS-CBN to their mix to widen the coverage of the NBA in our local soil, even to the most isolated places now reached by the NBA brand of basketball because of this joint acts,..Mabuhay Mr. Tieng and Mr. Lopez who is a sports fanatics ever since..
    ..i just hope this will not be the last, ive been a fan since MJ won that first ring in the 90’s, now im LBJ fan and rooting for coach erik,..proud Pinoy,..WE LOVE THIS GAME!! thank u NBA!!

  29. markuzz says:

    Yahoo!! NBA in Philippines!! I will watch this for sure!

  30. elicute says:

    i am an ofw – i am on a wrong vacation date! but millions of filipino will definetely gonna be there! good job nba – love it – thanks! by the way – next time try to make it by March – plz! lol! i love this game!

  31. beteg says:

    My hubby hates KOBE so much.. (bcoz he goes for LEBRON) i told him to leave kobe alone.. KOBE is one of the NBA STAR who regularly visits Philippines.. that’s why millions of Filipinos love KOBE and Lakers so much..basically giving u an IDEA that Philippine household..sometimes arguing about NBA.. : ) we Love NBA.. Last yr I was so upset that I had only half of my 13th month pay bcoz they give the other half middle of the yr..NOW I APPRECIATE THAT.. WHOOOAAAA!!! sure hope I can watch it..minus my hubby.he has to earn for his ticket..hahahaha

  32. Jay Labra says:

    T H A N K S _ N B A ! from C E B U

  33. John Pablo Tan says:

    good job, NBA wish you more games to come not only pre-season but every season, just travel to Philippines to make us experience and make example to our Pilipinas Team.

    isn’t exciting Team Pilipinas vs. Nba Players?

    What you say guys….. πŸ™‚

  34. cedric says:

    coach can you convince the whole team to come and visit us here during summer.

  35. ober says:

    nice article.. πŸ™‚ for just a moment,, philippines was recognized! πŸ™‚

  36. baboy says:

    i am here in dubai and will have a vacation on october just to watch that first nba pre season game.. jampack filipinos!!

  37. RyU says:

    Proud Pinoy here and very happy that my fellow Filipinos are given the opportunity to watch the Rockets and Pacers play… Not a bad idea at all because Jeremy Lin will surely have a major pull on the Filipino-Chinese community inside or even outside the Metro Manila area…

  38. P-Q says:

    Nice. There are players from Cebu that might have NBA-ready talent. Just heard of them, though, Univ. of San Carlos? XD Going on October. So stoked.

  39. jmann18 says:

    Whoa there! did someone just called Filipinos talent less. That’s cool I guess introducing the Manila envelope wasn’t good enough, Sorry we are not good enough for your high standards.

  40. Ron Soriano says:

    I hope a Filipino surnamed “Soriano” will get into the NBA, so that I can have my name announced in NBA 2k ahahahahha

  41. BoskeTaytayTonggo says:

    2013 NBA Finals..
    MIA vs. OKC
    Sold out!!!

  42. You have to like says:

    Wanna know just how NBA crazy we Filipinos are?

    All of us remember this!

    Game 6 East Conference 1st round 2009 1 Boston vs 8 Chicago.
    3OT! 8th seed bulls force deciding game 7 vs defending champ boston!

    Come here to the Philippines!

  43. whenever other people ask me about my country … Our number 1 sport is BASKETBALL . INFLUENCED BY NBA … That’s why we always have so called ” IMPORTS ” meaning players from other country but most of them are from USA .this imports gives more excitement to the game … That we always dream of watching cause we always look up to NBA PLAYERS. And imitate they’re moves and collect jerseys shoes nba cards caps … Anything with NBA flavor is a big thing for us …

  44. BASKETBALL IS THE NO.1 SPORT IN MY COUNTRY PHILIPPINES .i live here in NEW YORK for 3 years … And my ultimate wish is to watch live court side with any NBA TEAM . Honestly I know all the names of players on each team … I’m still saving money to buy tickets for me and my wife … It’ll be an awesome day for us … Pilipinas mabuhay … NBA WE LOVE THIS GAME …

  45. SadbutStillHappy says:

    any other place than MOA? like UBEC perhaps? come on.. πŸ˜€ pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

  46. JewelAnnclaudius says:


  47. crossover says:

    Thanks for a wonderful blog about our country Steve.

    Philippines is a small country but a BIG time basketball nation.

    MELO for MVP
    T-MAC fan for life

    by the way, I still believe in C’s

  48. Ross says:

    yes!yes!yes! finally, some recognition regarding the the Philippines’ addiction to basketball. it’s not just a sport, it’s a way of life here.. lol. hopefully there will be more events like this to come. absolutely cannot wait to see James Harden and Jeremy Lin, go head-to-head against Paul George and Roy Hibbert!.. Hope these guys are ready for the reception that we’re about to give them, it’s gonna be crazy! hahaha..

  49. love to see kobe plays in PI ( Philippines ) the most loved NBA player in Philippines.

  50. PK says:

    YES!!!!!! NBA!!!!!!!!!!! Philippines!!!! :)))))))))))))))))))))

  51. strawhat says:

    im happy for my country.. finally they can witness nba game live and upclose with 2 nba teams..during jordans era most of the filipinos are fans of the bulls but now i guess most are fans of the heat cause of lebron and filam coach spoe..filipinos are a big fan of nba..we love basketball..just like the canadian here loves hockey

  52. LebronKingOfNba says:

    houston and pacers are good teams. but we want a pre-season game of miami vs oklahoma. we want to see live lebron vs durant. hope this will come true. lol

  53. LebronKingOfNba says:

    back in 2011, kobe, durant, and other superstars went here in the philippines. i hope lebron will visit also us here in the ph

  54. Rebj says:

    I’m Excited to see the BEARDED ONE and PAUL GEORGE go head to head..
    I would also like to see a Lakers – Celtics match-up here in the Philippines

  55. good job NBA! hoping a first pure pinoy to play in NBA.

  56. NBA is big influence to all youngster, they grow up with their IDOL. As for me, when I was a kid I love the Utah and Karl Malone.. then in my teens I love Vince Carter until now (i;m also a Mavs).. but now I’m a father.. I love the Miami Heat because of Coach Spo.. all support to our best coach. Go Heat!

  57. chonun says:

    phil. basketball at its best.

  58. mavsfan14 says:

    I want DALLAS MAVERICKS team to come here too!! please bring Dirk here in the Philippines!

  59. ungo says:

    NBA in Philippines is BIG

  60. rondo kg kd ki says:

    NBA sa pilipinas! this is the most interesting topic i’ve ever read here πŸ˜‰ bring celts and okc too.

  61. NBA CARES says:

    We love to see DWADE, LBJ, UD, SHANE BATTIER, LBJ, RIO, CB, MIAMI HEAT BASKETBALL to visit the PH. or LAKERS TEAM- to make a clinic like KOBE did

  62. ramshark says:

    thank you nba proud to be a filipino coz of coach erik..

  63. wendells says:

    This is it Philippines!!!! NBA is coming in our country…BIG thanks to the organizers thanks also Mr.Spoelstra…….I LOVE THIS GAME!!!!!

  64. zach says:

    Mr Manny Pangilinan is planning to buy the Sacramento Kings franchise and soon we will have a team in the NBA and the owner is a Filipino! Mabuhay Pilipinas!

  65. mavsfan14 says:

    I think It will be a great match because pacers is one of the rising defensive power in the east and rockets as an explosive offensive team. I just really hope it will be a great game to watch. I also agree with this article that we Filipinos love basketball very much.There are basketball court in every town, province that being played by kids, adults, and hey even disabled people using wheelchair can play good basketball. nothing can stop us playing as long as there is a court to play with and I’m proud of that.
    THANKS NBA! and also Thank you for this wonderful article..*thumbs up!*

  66. ginobi says:

    Please bring the SPURS here!!!

  67. Jayson says:

    Im also a Filipino. Its a great news for NBA fans like us..We are the best NBA fans in the Asia Pacific or maybe in the whole Asia. We hope the NBA bring a regular NBA game in the Philippine soil. I hope I can see Lebron and the Heat here in the Philippines. Im excited to see the pre-season game of Pacers and Rockets…

  68. Cloud says:

    There’s a lot of NBA Players who came here before, during my grade school days I remember Grant Hill came here, Kobe came here so many times already, I remember Vic Pablo showed Kobe his own dunk during 3 on 3 exhibition game. Glen Rice for sure would not forget the guy name Alan Cadic (3-point barrage) after their exhibition game. When I was working abroad my British boss ask me why do Filipinos love basketball although you don’t have the height? I told him its in our blood…

  69. KB24 says:


  70. miniminer says:

    wow! this is great, Filipinos love basketball so much

  71. J says:

    I am so happy that the Philippines is finally getting some recognition from the NBA!

  72. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:

    1) CHINA
    3) RUSSIA
    4) KOREA
    5) JAPAN

  73. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:

    ERIK SPO…. an Elite Coach…. GO PHILIPPINES!!!!!!

  74. princess says:

    thank you steve.. thank you nba for fulfilling the dreams of many children here in the philippines to watch nba games. we filipinos really appreciate the effort and time you gave to make this game. we hope this wont be the last time. We filipinos are very thankful that this game finally arrive here in the phil.

  75. Erwinskofp says:

    Im a Filipino based in Singapore and the channel I often watch is NBA. My whole family loves the game and we follow the Clippers, Heat, New York and Houston (well because of JLin). If NBA will play in the Philippines then it worn’t hurt to have a 3 days vacation just to watch the game.

    Thanks NBA.

    Btw, point guard and former MVP Johnny Abbarientos did attract some scouts from the NBA when he was still playing with Alaska in PBA, but he didn’t get an invite to the training camp (not that I know of) maybe because he’s too small. Also, “The Big Difference” Caloy Loyzaga was courted by the Celtics back then.

  76. wessee says:

    we don’t have the funds to buy a baseball bat or football gear or hockey gear in the philppines that is probably why basketball is the number one sport in our country………and everyone has their own favorite team….. i personally like the celtics

  77. don325i says:

    nice article sir steve. thank you from the philippines.

  78. Steve says:

    Come on guys….I’m Australian and even I realize how much Filipino’s love the NBA and basketball in general. My sister-in-law who is Filipino and her family love it – but even thay didn’t know (or remember) the Philippines had won a medal (bronze) at an Olympic games……..even Australia hasn’t done that 😦

  79. Makishima says:

    NBA should’ve realized this sooner.

  80. SirPinoy says:

    Wow Steve! Such a great article for the Philippines. You are also welcome to visit here.

    All I can say is even low seeded teams can visit here and experience a basketball game with a championship atmosphere.

  81. MjC says:

    There should be something special. Note that SM Mall of Asia Arena only houses 15,000 seats, and yet despite that, the NBA is still going here. There should be something special.

  82. arch tim says:

    nearly teary eye, when you mention the kids play in flip-flop,i am also a kid once and we play bare footed too in a rocky pebbles court,Filipino’s are really 1 million times basketball fanatics. . .

    Hoping for more future games here in the philippines,even if you’re the worst team in the NBA you’re still popular here in the Philippines and the filipino fans still know and recognized you,even your stats.


  83. Sinned says:

    Bring the CELTICS!!!!!
    Regular Celtics blogger at Boston Globe.
    Celtics fanatic since 1986!
    Welcome NBA to the Philippines!

  84. JunAms_11 says:

    I love to see NBA players coming to Philippines.Its a once in a lifetime event.I hope it would be a yearly routine for NBA to come to Philippines to promote the league and to embrace also the basketball enthusiast here in the Philippines. For sure NBA will not regret and soon Philippines will represent talented players to join in the League. Thanks NBA!

  85. JORANIMO23 says:

    Even when i was a kid, NBA was already part of my genes especially the Era of the GOAT player himself His Airness Michael Jordan (I still can remember MJ’s jumpshot on the FLU game w/in he was wearing AJ12 then Scottie hugged him after he took that memorable shot!) And the only thing that keeps me binded with NBA and its players are my trading cards! and now with this brillant move from the NBA, we as Filipinos will rise to the occasion and celebrate this joyous day for this coming 10th of October we can totally set aside our trading cards, Basketball mags etc… coz the NBA is coming to my beloved PHilippines! Ohhh Yeaahh Baby! thanks NBA and hopefully more games to come! Oh by the way, Please bring the Chicago Bulls as well on your next trip!

  86. Jojo says:

    I would love to see Japeth Aguilar in a Miami Heat Uniform soon., he’s perfect fit for Miami Heat system playing small ball. or if not the Heat the impt we would be happy too if we see him or any natural born filipino basketball player suiting up in a NBA Jersey.

  87. JP says:

    Bring Miami Heat, Boston Celtics or Oklahoma City Thunders too. Filipinos loves basketball so much.

  88. SrCorba says:

    I’m from Barcelona, Spain, and the Filipino community it’s huge here and one thing I can say for shure: you can find Filipinos playing in everycourt in town, wearing jerseys (they were pioneeers on that around here). I can say proudly that i stayed in Manila one night and the HOTEL had a BASKET BOARD so I played a couple of shot with some locals, this people can be really pasionate about it!

  89. Aram says:

    I’m from the Pilipinas! Thanks NBA!

  90. sports fan says:

    It’s great that it’s mentioned that kids play in flip-flops. What’s not mentioned is that some kids even play barefoot on pavement. And the kids that play barefoot & in flip-flops can really play! I find this utterly amazing.

  91. Jaime Sarte says:

    Thank you very much for accepting my comment. The Philippines has been watching NBA tournaments since the
    Lakers were not in Los Angeles. Lot of mthe people still remember Jerry West, Elgin Baylor.

  92. Jaime Sarte says:

    I was playing in a tournament as Jr high school, I name our team Lakers & we won the championship game.
    That was in 1957, schools name was Legaspi College, in the city Of Legaspi. The Philippines was so full of
    joy & happiness that our NBA team will play there this October.

  93. OneilSydneysider says:

    I’m one of the basketball aficionados, following every updates in NBA games, especially Miami Heat. This is the team to reckon with; so superb, the athleticism, skills and talents, you could name all the remarkable attributes that the team had is engrossed on this team. Lebron and Dwayne are one of the exceptional players that millions of basketeers tried to mimic with, though, it’s impossible, at least, they have these idolising effect in a optimistic costs, in terms of fitness and camaraderie.
    I live in Sydney, Australia, my fervent wish is to have at least one Nba game to be held here in Down Under, definitely, I’ll be sitting on the court side.By the way, I’m a naturalised Pinoy and felt envious, when I heard that there will be a NBA game to be held in Manila. Anyway, I m still hoping, common NBA all of you are welcome here.

  94. Got this info first from twitter, now I need to schedule my annual leave this October to watch the once in a lifetime NBA Live experience. To all NBA players, if you get lost circling the globe, consider Philippines as your next home.


  95. proudpinoy says:

    Awesome!! Finally, been waiting this for such a long long time, bringing NBA games in my home country! A nation where basketball is the number sport…. can’t wait to buy ticket’s.! I Love NBA…. I hope next time it will be my favorite Miami HEAT against any NBA team. Love to see my idol D-wade & LBJ.

  96. van haylem says:

    Philippines is just crazily, stupidly in love with basketball, and it happens that NBA is the peak of that sport. I’m a Filipino and I know almost all players in the NBA. Of course, when it comes to my favorite team, I know all of them, their stats, their measures, their years, their history, the injuries, the rookies, their D-league affiliations, the staff, the commentators, the mascot, the arena, as in almost everything about my favorite team. And I’m talking about my Boston Celtics.

  97. ed says:

    I love basketball more than any other sport. . .bring it on NBA here in philippines

  98. Allen Leonard F says:

    This will be the first of many future NBA games in the country.

  99. Valiant says:

    I am very excited and proud to know that an NBA game will be played in the Philippines,a country where I was born and yes where people love the game more than anybody else.Basketball got to be famous since the Philippines placed 3rd in the World Basketball Championship in 1954 and since then all national players got superstar attention and following like movie stars.We even elect them as senators and congressman all over the country. Thank you NBA for promoting the Philippines by finally recognizing the love of the game is truly universal and knows no boundaries.

  100. bobot says:

    we actually have more basketball courts than schools here in the Philippines!

  101. markyeoj says:

    Its a great event, and I cant wait to grab a tickets for my family, I’d love to see Danny Granger, Roy Hibert and Paul George toe to toe with James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Omer Asik, I know its just a pre-season but please.. we want to see those guys play here.. I would also love to see HEAT specially Lebron visit the Philippines..

  102. Carlo says:

    This is really great! This is one special event in the history of the Philippines that I don’t want to miss. Where can we buy tickets?

  103. sports fan says:

    This is an awesome article. So glad to see something like this. Thank you Mr Aschburner for posting this.

  104. Cole Dyak.... says:

    Wish Drose and the Bulls will come and play here too..i missed the oppurtunity to watch and see Drose during lasts year exihibitiob game….but if he will come and play here again…i will be the first in line for the ticket…

  105. sellahh says:

    I thought this piece was going to be about Reinaldo Balkman.

  106. MICK SEYER says:

    Just to add something… When the NBA had a delayed opening due to a lockout 2011 season, the following bigtime stars came to Manila to play for an exhibiton games (2 days), July 23, 2011. Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Derrick Williams, Tyreke Evans, and yes, Javale McGee. It was “HOOP HEAVEN” for the fans in the Philippines, in which basketball is a very popular sport.

  107. Gian says:

    Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers, better be ready to be rocked by the rabid fans that await you here in the Philippines. James Harden should know because he played an exhibition game here before along side Kobe and Chris Paul. It’s a guarantee that this will be a highly anticipated event and that the arena will be filled with boisterous crowd. Heck, I’m already saving my money to buy tickets!!

    • Igorot says:

      Philippines has been a Basketball fanatic ever since.Beofre I even know the game our fathers have been so into it. Michael Jordan made a good example of how to be a good or the best person you can be inside and outside the court; inspired a lot of Filipinos too. Bringing the NBA to the Philippines will be so wonerfu especially to the fansl. Hope you can bring actual games in the Philippines.Thanks Coach Erik for remembering your native land. We are so proud of you and we wish you all the best for the MIAMI HEAT.To Chris, Dwayne and Lebron keep the fire burning! Godd luck to the team and take home more and more championships.

  108. noypi says:

    One day there will be pinoy in NBA playing at the high level of basketball, and when it comes he be great one.

  109. PINOY says:

    Simply put, we love basketball. Its in our genes

  110. JAMS_HEAT says:

    thanks NBA for this oppurtunity….Filipinos love basketball.we love NBA….

  111. J says:

    I’m from the Philippines and I’m a fan of Lebron and the heat but I’m still so excited for this game. Great article, every detail is right! Here in the Philippines, you’re not a man if you don’t watch NBA. We love NBA!

  112. ABB says:

    Philippines is a basketball crazy nation since the 1950’s and the professional basketball league here rarely took an imported players other than american and we follow the NBA games since the time of Jerry West , that’s how long we been glued to this sport. In fact Kobe Bryant have been here many times. So I just wondered why only now they took notice of the Philippines. Anyway thanks..I hope next time it wouldn’t be just a pre-season game but an actual regular season game between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. How’s that for a close up..

  113. Spaz says:

    im a filipino, and i really want to watch that rare NBA game even though its just a pre season exhibition game..i will be just be AWESOME!!

  114. JUAN DELA CRUZ says:

    At last! I am waiting for this. Great teams will be playing here and I cant wait to see the action. But please I will definitely buy front row tickets if Lebron and Durant face each other here. Yey!