IT’S A treat like no other for this basketball-crazy nation.
When global basketball superstars make their way to the Philippines starting this month, clearly, the country will have gone far from being just a token stop for NBA players past their prime.
Two-time NBA champion LeBron James of the Miami Heat will visit Manila on Tuesday for a one-day Nike tour, which kicks off the arrival of A-list athletes in what’s fast turning into an unparalleled year for Filipino basketball fans.
NBA icon Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, who has thrilled local fans in previous visits, will also return to the country on Aug. 12 for a Lenovo Mobile promotional event.
A month later, it will be Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose’s turn to wow Pinoys as the former NBA MVP will also be in Manila from Sept. 14 to 16 for an Adidas tour.
By October, Filipinos will get to experience real NBA action as Manila hosts the first NBA preseason game in Southeast Asia on Oct. 10 at Mall of Asia Arena.
And adding unexpected spice to the preseason match featuring Houston and Indiana is All-Star center Dwight Howard, who will debut with the Rockets here after ditching the Lakers in the off-season.
Titillating Pinoys even more, though, is the possible arrival of the greatest of them all, all-time—Michael Jordan.
“We’re working on it, we’re trying to get him here,” Gatorade PR manager Rick Olivares confirmed yesterday.
And if “His Airness” does arrive in Manila for the first time, then indeed, there’s no finale more fitting in this spectacular parade of living legends.