Latest Stories

NBA stars vs PBA, Smart Gilas cagers: a dream match


MANILA—If the Filipino can’t play in the NBA, then might as well bring the NBA to the Filipino.

For a handful of the country’s top basketball players, professional or amateur, this could be very well the game of their lives as they take on an NBA selection led by two-time MVP and five-time champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and “Redeem Team” teammate Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets on July 23 and 24.

In fact, some people even went as far as using their Twitter accounts to make a case for themselves.

“I need to play in this game. How how how?” asked Petron’s Alex Cabagnot on his Twitter account (@cabaggie_5).

And who could blame him? But for a perfect mix of circumstance and opportunity—actually, lockout sums it all up—such a scenario wouldn’t have been possible before.

“You’re not going here to watch a clinic or retired players.You’re going to watch real active NBA players,” said Talk N Text head coach Reyes, who is one of the men behind the negotiations and the executive director of the MVP Sports Foundation.

“We don’t want to bring them here and not do anything. We want them to play,” Reyes added.

And that’s not even counting the fact that organizers are hoping to add two more players—some say these could be Oklahoma City superstar and Fiba world championship MVP Kevin Durant and Chicago Bulls hotshot and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose—to the NBA roster that will play charity matches against a PBA selection and the Smart Gilas national team.

Who are the lucky fellows?

For the PBA all-stars, they are: BMeg’s James Yap and Marc Pingris, Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguiao and JC Intal, Petron Blaze’s Rabeh Al Hussaini, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos, Talk N’ Text’s Ryan Reyes, Jason Castro and Larry Fonacier, Alaska’s Sonny Thoss and LA Tenorio, Meralco’s Sol Mercado, Powerade’s Gary David, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood and Air21′s Danny Seigle.

Cabagnot’s plea was not in vain, after all.

According to PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, the 16-man line up, with at least on representative from each team, was based on “those who are performing well, and those who are popular because of their performance.”

For Smart Gilas, it’s the core of the national squad plus the pros who are being recruited to bolster the squad for the Olympic qualifier this September: Mark Barroca, JVee Casio, Dylan Ababou, Japeth Aguilar, Mac Baracael, Jason Ballesteros, Chris Lutz,  Marcio Lassiter, Chris Tiu, the naturalized player Marcus Douthit, and PBA reinforcements Kelly Williams, Jimmy Alapag, Asi Taulava, Dondon Hontiveros and Ranidel De Ocampo.

In a country thirsting to see one of its own finally playing in the NBA, it would be nothing less of a treat to watch its top stars playing against Bryant, Paul, former rookie-of-year Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers, James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder and 2011 NBA Draft second overall pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The five-time NBA champion Bryant, who was in Manila just last Wednesday as a part of his five-city Asian tour, will also make his first–and only–stint as a playing coach for the USA selection after surprising Filipino fans with an out-of-the-script eight minute stint in an FEU Tamaraws jersey.

The NBA All-Stars will take on the PBA selection on July 23 at 7 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum and against Smart Gilas Pilipinas on July 24 at 1 p.m at the same venue.

The Nationals, who will be competing in the Fiba Asia Championship this September, scrapped their scheduled European training in lieu of the event dubbed as the Utimate All-Star Weekend.

“We we made a point to get strong, young players (in the NBA). They will give Gilas a good workout,” said Reyes.

“It’s going to be tough, but Gilas will play all out. We’re all hoping that we can match up well and hopefully we can keep it close if not win,” said Smart Gilas assistant team manager Butch Antonio.

Ticketnet has started selling tickets this afternoon with the patron seats pegged at P5500, Lower Box at P3800, Upper A at P1500, Upper B at P800 and General Admission at P350 and are sold separately for the two games.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Basketball , Chicago Bulls , Chris Paul , DeAndre Jordan , Derrick Rose , Derrick Williams , James Harden of , Kevin Durant , Kobe Bryant , LA Clippers , Los Angeles Lakers , Manny V. Pangilinan , Minnesota Timberwolves , MVP Sports Foundation , New Orleans Hornets , Nike , Oklahoma City Thunder , PBA , Philippines , Sacramento Kings , Smart Gilas-Pilipinas , Sports , Tyreke Evans

  • http://twitter.com/jhnrbnrms John Robin Ramos

    looking for lowerbox ticket? Email me at johnrobs222@gmail.com

  • Anonymous

    chot reyes

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Traffic from provinces to Manila light on Black Saturday
  • Sub search for missing plane to be done in week
  • Gloomy weather on Black Saturday–Pagasa
  • Mixed feelings for Gabriel Garcia Marquez in hometown
  • Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • Marketplace