The biggest NBA Invasion is here. 2012- 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finalists Indiana Pacers and the powered up Houston Rockets arrived on board separate flights this morning (October 7) to prepare for the first ever NBA game in the country and to find out for themselves what Pinoy basketball passion is all about.
The Indiana Pacers, led by their main man Paul George, who recently signed a long-term contract extension and accompanied by Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird touched down in Manila early this morning, followed by a Houston Rockets team sporting brand new personnel, Dwight Howard alongside sensations Jeremy Lin and recent visitor James Harden.
The presence of Larry Bird in the country with Houston Rockets Coach Kevin McHale marks the second time that the Philippines will be hosting NBA Hall of Famers. Bird and McHale were two of the original Big Three of the 1981, 1984 and 1986 World Champions Boston Celtics alongside Robert Parish and were inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame in 1998 and 1999, respectively. In 2010 another Hall of Famer, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, was in the country for the NBA Asia Challenge.
NBA Global Games Philippines 2013 tips off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena and before the big day, the Pacers and the Rockets will get to know Manila a little better even as they conduct their practices in earnest for the historic NBA event in Southeast Asia.
The two teams are also scheduled to make trips around the city and drop in on neighborhood basketball courts. They will also conduct several NBA Cares activities for local kids at the Mall of Asia Arena and in selected neighborhood basketball courts.
The NBA will also host a clinic for local basketball coaches at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 in conjunction with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the Mall of Asia Arena. Members of the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers coaching staff will be on hand to help conduct the clinic for the attending coaches. This free coaching development program is supported by the NBA and is open to all coaches of any level.
Interested coaches may register by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NBA Global Games will see eight NBA teams play in eight cities in six countries this October. The schedule – which will also feature the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards – will also include the first-ever NBA preseason game in Brazil, and in the cities of Bilbao, Spain, and Manchester, England. It will also include games in Beijing, Istanbul, Shanghai, and Taipei.