Pippen, NBA legends out to ‘put on a show’ vs PBA greatsBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Even the PBA greats Jerry Codinera and Jojo Lastimosa couldn’t help but be in awe by the mere presence of their NBA idols whom they will face in an exhibition game Wednesday in the PLDT All Star Basketball Challenge at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen and Chicago Bulls teammate Dennis Rodman head the list of former basketball stars out to give basketball crazy fans in Manila a show.
“It’s a dream come true for all of us,” said Codinera, who also said that he was a die-hard Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers fan. “We’re just so grateful that they were able to bring the NBA legends here.”
“For me having able to sit beside them was just a blast,” Lastimosa told INQUIRER.net during a press conference held at the MOA Arena.
Codinera and Lastimosa will team up with former Alaska big man Bong Hawkins, Nelson Asaytono, Ginebra greats Marlou Aquino, Noli Locsin, Bal David and Vince Hizon, Kenneth Duremdes and EJ Feihl.
“We feel great. We’re excited and we’re looking forward to putting on a show,” said Pippen, a hall-of-fame inductee, best known for his lockdown defense.
Pippen also answered questions about the 2012 NBA champion Miami Heat saying that the team has a good chance to contend for more titles as long as they can “keep LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh healthy.”
The six-foot-seven forward won two Olympic gold medals as part of the world famous Dream Team and Dream Team II.
And for the Philippine men’s basketball team to get back in the Olympics, “I think the grassroots of basketball has to be better,” he said.
The American team, coached by hall-of-fame player Oscar Robertson, arrived earlier in the afternoon.
Other notable players are four-time NBA champion Horace Grant, one-time NBA champions Jason Williams and Mitch Richmond, Clifford Robinson and Bryon Russell.
Completing the star-studded cast are Alexis Foyle, Jeff Trepagnier, Chris Campbell and Charoy Bentley.
The sharp-shooting Richmond, a second-timer in the Philippines, said that he and his teammates are in shape and even joked that they’re even training extensively for the game.
Rodman even joked that their opponents look “out of shape” and “fat.”
The flashy Williams, a six-foot-one playmaker, won his lone title with the Miami Heat in 2006 back when Fil-American head coach Erik Spoelstra was still an assistant to Pat Riley.
Robertson is still the only player in the NBA to average a triple-double.