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LeBron James inspires, amazes fans in Manila

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MANILA, Philippines — On his first ever trip to this basketball-crazed country, LeBron James didn’t miss the chance to impress Manila by strutting the showmanship the fans were raring to see.

From the moment he faced the thousands of fans at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday — behind blinding fireworks to his grand gesture to reach out to the kids in the crowd – James certainly left his mark.

This isn’t to forget the step back, fadeaway triples, the nifty passes and the dizzying dunks, which the NBA superstar obliged to show in a brief exhibition game with select collegiate and national team players.

“I’m lost for words. This is unbelievable. This is crazy,” LeBron told the jampacked crowd at the Witness History event, some of whom had lined up for days just to see him.

NBA superstar LeBron James lifts up one of the boys for a dunk during a basketball clinic Tuesday, July 23, 2013, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. James is in Manila for a day in the event dubbed “Witness History”. Overwhelmed by the rousing welcome of his Filipino fans, James did not disappoint as he wowed the crowd at The Arena with his vintage shots and made sure that everyone had a good time. NOY MORCOSO lll

James, who recently posted a preview of his rap song on Instagram, opened up the show by rapping and dancing to a beat while asking: “Philipines are y’all ready? James is in the building.”

And the crowd aptly chanted “MVP! MVP!” That was just the first of many times that chant was heard that afternoon.

While James said he had an inkling of how passionate basketball fans here were, the four-time NBA MVP admitted during the press conference Tuesday morning: “I didn’t know what to expect. This is overwhelming.”

He also tried to overwhelm fans with his famous rim-rattlers – where he rises up so high before stuffing the ball hard on the ring – to which the crowd reacted with non-stop “ooohs” and “aaahs.”

Team LeBron, which was made of basketball standouts from the UAAP seniors and juniors division, yielded to Smart Gilas Pilipinas, 27-29, in a 10-minute scrimmage.

James, who laced up his game-time kicks of blue and black and donned a white and red jersey emblazoned with the word “witness”, joined the game midway to the delight of the fans.

He threw down a monster jam after the other off lob passes from teammates Kiefer Ravena, Cris Newsome, Terrence Romeo and Ray Parks, and James even had a chance to win it for his team but misfired on the final two attempts.

“The reason why I missed those last two shots because my jersey’s too damn small, forgive me,” James jokingly said in his closing speech.

But his sense of humor wasn’t the last thing Manila would remember about arguably the best basketball player in the world — it was when he pulled a kid from the Lower Box section, brought him down courtside and gave him his used, and signed, jersey.

“You guys a got a great future here. I will continue to do my part and inspire you guys. You just gotta keep on being passionate just the way you are,” James said.


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Tags: "Witness History" tour , Basketball , Lebron James , NBA , Sports

  • tra6Gpeche

    You guys have a great future, said James. In what Mr. LeBron? For sure not in basketball. Filipinos are too slow, too short, too skinny, too weak and can’t jump high enough! Tell them to concentrate in billiard like Efren “bata” Reyes. They might make it there. Or just study hard and become a scientist or like Zuckerberg, Ms Caterina Fake, Jerry Yang, Sergey Brin or even Pierre Omidyar of Ebay. Basketball? Not a Filipino! Perhaps for fun, inuman and barkada! Mr. Lebron is just being subtly nice to the basketball-crazy Filipinos. Why not? He is in the Philippines.

    • JK1000

      You forgot Manny Pacquiao…..May totoo sa mga sinabi mo pero halatang may crab mentality ka sa utak mo.

      • tra6Gpeche

        Ipaliwanag mo nga kung paano ako nagkaroon ng “crab mentality?” Pag hindi mo maipaliwanag, mayruon kang uod at anay mentality sa utak mo. Mahirap bang tanggapin ang katotohanan? Gusto mo bang ang anak mo ay maging boksingero upang malusaw ang utak? O maging paham o scientist o tulad ng mga binanggit ko? Nag-aral ka ba? Ngayon, kung hindi kakayanin ng utak mo ang mag-aral, tama ka na makipagsuntukan na lang at makipagbabag at baka sakaling maabot mo ang tagumpay ni Pacquiao. Mabuti iyon kaysa mga magnanakaw na Pilipinong pulitiko! Hihintayin ko ang sagot mo. Ibig kong maunawaan kung alam mo ang ibig sabihin ng “crab mentality.?

    • Pinoy Ako

      typical crab. talangka pa dyan brad ….

      • tra6Gpeche

        Maari bang ipaliwanag mo sa akin bakit “typical crab” kabayan. Alam mo ba ang kahulugan ng sinasabi mo? Kung hindi, masasabi ko na ang utak mo ay may uod o anay. Bakit kamo? Dahil ayaw tumanggap ng katotohanan. Masyadong ipokrito at balat sibuyas! Paano aasenso ang Pilipino kung hindi tatanggapin and katotohanan na wala sa basketball ang ika-uunlad ng sarili at bayan? Mahirap ba ang maging paham o scientist o maging engineer o tulad ng aking mga binanggit o kaya naman ay ang makatapos ng Kolehiyo. Kung mahirap, eh di lalong napakahirap maabot ang tagumpay ni Mr. LeBron dahil kulang ang Pinoy sa taas, sa lakas ng katawan, sa bilis, sa taas ng paglukso, sa laki ng katawan, sa pagiging matipuno at kanilang natural na lakas. Mahirap bang tanggapin iyan? Gaya ng sinabi ko, medyo ipokrito at balat sibuyas ang dating mo, brother!

      • Pinoy Ako

        brad, minsan na rin ako biktima ng tulad mo when i was in north america and i realize how many of us filipinos are like that. why not see the positive in people especially sa sariling lahi? basahin mo ulit yung sinulat mo and realize how you put down your own men. why not join the bandwagon and be happy nalang. if Lebron can “be happy” for Filipinos, why can’t you bro? Ginatungan mo pa na kesyo ganito ang pinoy kesyo ganyan. Why not see the positive things.

        Tama nga yung latest Sona, no matter how positive you are, there will always be people who’ll put you down… very much like you. Pero sabi ko rin, no matter how persistently crab-by “these” kind of people are, I will still continue to believe in my own kind. I will be one of those who will lift this spirit.

        Di ako hipokrito bro. Assertive lang ako ng opinyon ko. Di rin ako balat sibuyas kasi di naman ako galit. Ngayon basahin mo ulit yung last statement mo, baka sayo patungkol yun. Let’s start to change bro, may pag-asa para sa yo, para din sa akin at para sa bansa natin. Magtulungan lang tayo. :)

      • tra6Gpeche

        Thanks for replying. However, I don’t see any positive thing about basketball if you are talking about having great future as Mr. LeBron was saying. I was only talking about basketball, nothing more and nothing less. You know Mr. LeBron had to say it. Why? He is in the Philippines to make money from Nike, of course. If you believe him, then suit yourself! How about Sona? Is Sona of Mr. Aquino about basketball? Lumalayo ka sa tema ng usapan. If you believe that Filipinos will be successful in basketball like Mr. LeBron, then again, suit yourself! Assertive? What kind of assertiveness is that? Are you a superstar in Basketball like Mr. Lebron? Are you Steve Nash of Canada? I assume North America means Canada. If you are, then accept my apology. I did not know that Steve Nash was a Filipino. To me, you are assertive if even with short height, skinny bones, no athletic ability, weak and lame still pursue to be a star in basketball and made it. You should be the one to start to change if you are not Steve Nash. Try to accept the truth and don’t be in state of denial just for your false and misguided pride. Remember, we are talking about basketball and having a future in it. No, I am not angry. I am just being practical and truthful. I never deny what I don’t have. But I do something else where I have talent to succeed. Basketball? I am proud to say that I don’t have what it takes be successful, like Mr Lebron, in it!

      • Pinoy Ako

        ok, let’s just talk about basketball (though my words are supposed to go beyond that)…. just for the sake of argument, do you kill that Filipino’s dream for basketball? … and even quote that perhaps …”sa inuman and barkada” pwede? do i hear mockery there?

        brad, the point here is to never let your own kind, or anybody, down; more so kill anybody’s dream, unless you delight yourself so.

      • tra6Gpeche

        We all have the freedom to legally do what we want to do. Right? Mine is just opinion and that’s what I do…be practical and accept my deficiencies but do something else where I have a chance to succeed. Basketball? I don’t think so! Yes, it is a delight for me to tell what I think is true. The truth? Filipinos are short, weak, slow, sometimes lame and can’t jump high enough to reach the realm to dunk. Remember, we are in the topic of Mr. LeBron and having great future in basketball. My point? It’s better to do something where you have a chance to be successful. Don’t be in state of denial and forget the chips on your shoulder. Just accept your deficiencies as a man! Saying that Filipinos have great future in basketball is pathetic, lie, insulting and demeaning. I suggest that you don’t fool yourself believing what Mr LeBron James did say! Unless, of course, if you can be like him! That is my point, brother. And by the way, you must be in Canada…right? And you are not Mr. Steve Nash! Correct? Mockery? Yes, I am mocking those Filipinos who love to have “barkada” and “inuman.” But that’s another thing!

      • Guest

        You are a moron. Not all 100M+ Filipinos are short, weak..

      • tra6Gpeche

        Yes, I am a moron speaking the truth about Filipinos not having a “great future” about world class basketball. Just like your Hero, Mr. LeBron James telling the Filipinos that they have ‘great future” in basketball. But you have no brain for making a fool of yourself. Did I say Filipinos are short and weak. Period? If you have a little brain, you should know that I said that Filipinos are short and weak to have a great future in world class basketball, like the NBA where Mr. James belongs, no more, no less. That’s the problem with having a coconut head like yours. You should read and understand the full topic of this article. Have you seen any Filipino playing in the world class basketball competing against Steve Nash, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, et cetera? You are pathetic, stupid with empty coconut for accusing me of being moron. Again, you should understand, think, analyze and scrutinize the whole article and what I completely said about it. Remember, I am talking about what Mr. LeBron James said: “Filipinos have a great future in basketball.” If you believe it, then you are a fool and dumb! jes, don’t be a jerk!

      • Guest

        You and your 2 childrens dont know how to play the game of basketball. Still you are a moron.

      • tra6Gpeche

        Oh yes, we can play basketball but not to have a great future in it. They would not accept us in the NBA because we can’t play like them. You know why? We are short and weak, just like you and your whole family. You could probably have a great future in basketball if the basket is lower to 5 feet off the ground. If you can still not have a great future in it, then you might as well finish your college so you won’t be a tangengot who can easily be fooled by the sweet words of the best basketball player in the world….Mr Lebron James. I can tell you that he is the one who has a great future in basketball. You know why? He is tall, big, strong, athletic, can jump high, agile and has super footwork. I am 100% sure that you don’t have those talent and height of Mr. James. Yes , I am a moron but I accept my deficiency. I am not in state of denial all the time and don’t have chips and baggage on my shoulder….. the reason why you have false, misguided and stupid pride. Please try to have a college degree! You might have a great future in it!

      • tra6Gpeche

        jes, I forgot to tell you not to fool your children in telling them that they have a great future in basketball. Just tell them to stay in college. They could play basketball as a college player but making a good living as a world professional basketball player is 100% impossible. Please don’t waste their energy and time to make them play world class basketball like Mr. Lebron James! Yes, yes, yes, I will be a moron if you can prove me wrong!

      • Brax82

        2 Childrens? magpaka Pinoy ka nalang, lumalabas kang Try Hard Sir! Lupit ng 2 Childrens mo eh. Anu plural ng Sheep? Sheepseses bwahahaha!!!

      • tra6Gpeche

        If I had killed Filipinos dream of becoming a world class basketball player, I believe that would be good for them. Why? It saves their time, money and energy. Perhaps, they could use their other talent in something else. In world class basketball? I don’t think so! If they have no other talent, they should try to finish college. They will definitely have a great future in it!

      • sanjuan683

        Ilang beses na ba napunta si LeBron sa Pinas, ngayon lang di ba? Bakit sasabihin Pilipinos have great future in basketball. Bukang bibig lang ng mga Kano yan maging puti man o itim. Siyempre sasabihin ba niya you have no great future in basketball eh di nabatukan siya sasabihin pa sa kanya bolero go home. hahahahahaha Karamihan nagpupunta dito mga kano puti man o itim laging nila sinasabi Philippines is good pag-uwi nila sa bansa nila Oh Philippines so dirty and corrupt. hahahahahaha

      • tra6Gpeche

        We both have the same thinking, kabayan. Marami lang na kababayan natin ang madaling utuin ng banyaga. Tingnan mo maraming nagalit sa akin! Hindi matanggap ang katotohanan.

      • sanjuan683

        hehehehehe sa basketball lamang na ang matangkad pero nuong giyera sa Vietnam tinalo ng maliliit na vietcong ang US na matatangkad dahil sa strategy ng mga vietcong hindi naubra ang taas ng mga kano puti man o itim. Kaya walang sa tangkad yan nasa strategy. Dahil sa liit ng mga vietcong nakapagtatago sila sa tunnel ng apat na buwan, kamote lang ang baon. Maraming pinasabog ng military camp ng US hanggang sa umatras ang US at hiyang-hiya sila sa buong mundo sa kanilang pagkatalo. hahahahahaha

      • tra6Gpeche

        Kabayan, sa larangan lang ng basketball at volleyball ang mahalagang-mahalaga ang taas. Sa ibang bagay ay hindi kailangan ang taas. Ang kailangan ay talino at pamamaraan. Tama ang mga sinabi mo!

    • RicDab

      Isa lang masasabi ko, Coach Spoelstra is a great Filipino. He maybe half-Filipino but he is proud of his heritage. And he has achieved great things in basketball. Ergo, Filipinos can also do great things in basketball. Opinyon ko laang naman ire.

      • tra6Gpeche

        You are definitely correct about Spoelstra. However, my opinion is about Mr. LeBron James saying that Filipinos have a great future in basketball. I am sure he meant playing world class basketball. Please read my first comment again! Coach Spoelstra is a coach. He might be a world class coach but I am 100% sure that he can’t be a world class basketball player. Why? He is short, perhaps, not athletic, no strong body and skinny. Unless of course, if the basket is lowered to only 5 feet off the ground. Even you and I have a chance to play in the NBA! But still, I doubt if we would have a great future in it. Sorry, may be, you could have a great future playing world class basketball!

      • RicDab

        Why concentrate on billiards when you can be a world class coach in basketball? No height, speed or built required there. Just brains.

      • tra6Gpeche

        Again, you are definitely correct. You don’t have to be tall, big, athletic, no jumping ability required, et cetera. However, my opinion is about what Mr. LeBron James said to the Filipinos in the Philippines…that Filipinos have a great future in basketball. And I am sure he is referring to playing a world class basketball since he is a world class basketball player. How could Filipinos have a great future in playing world class basketball? They are too short, skinny, not strong, not muscular et cetera. Unless as I said, if the basket is lowered to 5 feet off the ground. Yes, better concentrate in being a Coach like Mr. Spoelstra. There is a chance to have a great future there. But not in playing world class basketball!

      • sanjuan683

        Sa boxing na lang tayo kay maliit ka o malaki, titingbangin ang maglalaban.. Hilig ninyo sa basketball dinadaan sa tangkad at kaitiman yan.

      • tra6Gpeche

        Sa basketball ay dapat ibaba ang basket ng mga 6 feet o 5 feet para ako “makapagdunk.” Dapat ay ganitong kataas lang ang basket sa Pilipinas dahil marami sa atin ay punggok na tulad ko. Mahina pang lumukso. One inch lang ang kaya kong ilukso. Gayon pa man ay baka wala rin akong kinabukasan or “great future” sa basketball. :)

      • sanjuan683

        American yan hindi Pinoy, saan ba siya pinanganak di ba US bakit sasabihin ninyo great Pilipino. hehehehehe There’s no such half-Pilipino, Pilipino kung Pilipino, American kung American. Pag-aari ng US yan kaya huag ninyo angkinin ang kanyang kasikatan dahil hindi yan Noypi nakakahiya kayo.

    • Brax82

      Kaw naman… Stop bursting the bubbles of the die hard fans ni LEBRON, alam mo naman tayo ang BANDWAGON capital ng mundo eh so let them DREAM(hallucinate)… Pag sinabe ni LEBRON, APRUB dapat!

      • tra6Gpeche

        Good comment, kabayan! Perhaps, you are correct. Dapat itikom ko na lang ang aking bibig. Minsan kasi ay di ko mapigilang sabihin ang mapait na katotohanan. Marami tuloy ang nabuwisit sa akin. Sana naman ay ibaba ng konti (perhaps 6 feet off the ground ang basket) upang kahit na ako ay makapag “dunk” nang basketball. Tiyak ko na maraming sisikat na Pinoy dahil mabilis at mautak naman tayo at maganda ang “footwork.” :)

      • Brax82

        TAMA! Kung gusto nilang mag dunk sa panaginip nila then let them be, kung feel nila na mahal na mahal sila ni Lebron ay hayaan mo nalang sila mag hallucinate at umepekto kung anu mang Droga ang sinisinghot nila bWAHAHA!Footwork! ndi ba pag lagpas ka ng 6’5 dito sa Pinas eh may karapatan ka ng maging mabagal at maging Sentro… Anyway, bsta pag sinabe ni Lebron, dapat aprub nalang tayo, para sumaya naman ang mga kapos palad nating mga kababayan hihi!

      • sanjuan683

        hehehehehe binobola lang kayo ni Lebron magsasabi ba naman ng pangit iyan dito sa Pinas eh di kinuyog siya baka pagnakuyog siya eh mamumuti siya at hindi makilala pag-uwi niya sa kanila. hahahahahaha

  • UrHONOR

    AKO man ay manghang-mangha kay James ……sa LAKI ng kinikita nya! Pero sa one-on-one, ilalampaso ni Ravena si James!:)

  • kentjohn

    james is now the best player in d world forget kobe he is done

    • sanjuan683

      hehehehehehe Madaling malaos yan james mo kapag nakilala niya si Kris sigurado manghihina siya.

  • Philip

    Lebron >>>>>>> Kobe

  • sigena

    sana ito na lang palagi hwag na yung SONA na walang ka latuylatuy

    • JK1000

      Dahil ba wala kang alam sa buhay mo?

  • socali

    Kobe pa rin

  • Noel

    I still pick Michael Jordan as the best.

    • sanjuan683

      Naku hingal kabayo ang aabutin niya kay Fonacier, matanda na yun at lipas na sa panahon. Lahat ng BEST sa buong mundo ay mga LAOS na yan ang realidad ng mundo.

  • jes

    I was there MOA. No doubt LEBRON the Best player today.

    • sanjuan683

      But tomorrow LAOS na siya. Iba naman ang magiging best.

  • RyanE

    Go Miami Heat for a 3-peat!

  • mike8232

    Sino na naman ang pinay pok2 ang binibisita ni Lebron? Si Kobe nakailang balik na
    Ma dri galang lang po

    • boooo!!!

      sus ka naman, kung wala kang masabi tungkol sa article wag mo naman pakialaman ang buhay ng iba. kung may pok-pok na naka-tira sa dalawa, eh anong paki mo? di ba wala? may nagawa ka ba? di ba wala rin? ang nagawa mo nakikialam sa buhay ng iba, yan ang pinoy.

      • sanjuan683

        Ugali rin ng Kano yan nakikialam din sa buhay ng iba.

    • JK1000

      Hahahaha ! Kaya ba sila bumabalik dahil sa mga “pokpok” na laging naghahanap ng dayuhan?



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