LeBron arrives in Manila for Tuesday’s Nike tour at MOA Arena

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LeBron James accepts the award for best male athlete at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. AP

MANILA, Philippines—On board a private jet, two-time NBA champion LeBron James of the Miami Heat arrived here Monday afternoon for his much-awaited one-day “Witness History” tour on July 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The four-time MVP James, regarded as the best basketball player today, is fresh off another MVP season after dragging the Heat to a grueling seven-game conquest of the San Antonio Spurs last June in one of the most memorable Finals series in league history.

James’ Manila visit also marks the arrival of basketball stars in the country which includes five-time champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, 2011 MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, one-two punch Dwight Howard and James Harden of the Houston Rockets and fast-rising star Paul George of the Indiana Pacers.

Bryant, who has been here several times, comes back for a Lenovo Mobile event on August 12 while Rose pays PH another visit from September 14 to 16 for an Adidas tour.

Howard, Harden and George meanwhile, give local fans an NBA experience when the Rockets and Pacers play the first ever NBA Preseason game in Southeast Asia on October 10also at the MOA Arena.

Harden will also be in the country this July 26-28 along with Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly Hornets) for the NBA 3X Philippines 2013 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

Nike, which announced James’ Manila tour last July 12, gave away tickets to the event last Wednesday where people camped out as thousands endured the long lines and the rain at the company’s flagship store at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

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