THE PHILIPPINES has yet to get over its high over the visit of superstar LeBron James and already, two more standouts planed in to thrill local fans anew for the next three days.
James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Pelicans arrived for the NBA 3X Philippines 2013 presented by Sprite to inspire and cheer on kids vying for the 3-on-3 crown.
“I really didn’t know I had a fan base here until I came here,” said Harden, who came to Manila for the first time in 2011 for a couple of exhibition games with stars like Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant.
Much has changed since his last visit as Harden moved from Oklahoma to Houston last season and recently got a new teammate in All-Star center Dwight Howard.
“I’m excited to have Dwight,” said Harden, who surprisingly answered the question despite media being forewarned that no questions on Howard would be entertained during yesterday’s press conference at Sofitel Phililippine Plaza. Harden, in fact, has dodged that question back in the United States.
“He’s a great talent and the best big man in the NBA. Obviously, last year he had a down year because of injuries and things like that. But this year he’s hungry. He’s focused on the ring and I am, too.”
Gordon, too, looks forward to teaming up with the Pelicans’ newly acquired guards Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday.
“It’s going to be very exciting to play with guys who can do things similar to what I can do,” said Gordon. “I hope it opens up things for us and makes us a better team this year.”
The 3X tournament featuring boys and girls divisions in seven age groups fires off today at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall and Philippine International Convention Center.