Chance to play for Sprite event in 2013 NBA All-Star up for grabsBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—A shot to be hailed champion, impress an NBA star and join in the 2013 NBA All-Star game.
That’s what’s at stake as the second year of the anticipated NBA 3X Philippines presented by Sprite event kicked off at the SM Mall of Asia Centerstage Friday.
With 3-on-3 format being pushed for as an Olympic event, the interest is at an all-time high as players as young as 10— and even women hoop enthusiasts— signed up for the three-day event.
The Charlotte Lady Cat Dancers, the two-time best dance team in the NBA, provided the pre-game entertainment while Stuff the Magic Dragon mascot of the Orlando Magic took charge of the comic relief.
Brooklyn Nets’ center Brook Lopez, who flew in just to oversee the competition, has heard about the country’s rep as a basketbally crazed nation.
And he was raring to see it person.
“I’m expecting it to be a competitive 3-on-3 action, I heard you guys are big fan of the games,” said Lopez, who knew about the country from his teammate in high school.
“I definitely think (this 3-on-3 format) will be a much more open game and any type of player should give it a shot.”
But more than just getting the bragging rights and the top honors, it’s having the player’s potential noticed by that was the tantalizing part this year’s edition of the event.
Try-outs for the Sprite Uncontainable Game, which will be introduced in the next season’s All-Star game in Houston, will also be featured.
Two aspirants will be selected to be part of a global pool of creative, amateur ballers from around the world from which NBA superstars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant will choose their team.
If picked to be part of James’ Team Sudden or Bryant’s Team Intense, finalist will get a free trip to be a part of the 2013 All-Star weekend.
And whether to add more pressure, or challenge for the players, Brook said he will likewise be on the lookout for talent.
“I will be walking around, looking for talents to play with us in the NBA. I will be a talent scout for the next three days,” Lopez said.
Fans who were not able to register for the competition still have a chance to enjoy the NBA experience with the Sprite Slam Dunk Contes, the Skills Challenge or the KFC 3pt Bucket Shootout.
Registration will be on site for the said events Sunday.