Latest Stories

NBA stars amazed by warm welcome in Manila


NBA stars arrive in Manila for the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend. JESS YUSON / INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines – Eight of the nine NBA stars who will throw their basketball-passionate Filipino fans a big treat in the Smart Ultimate All-Star weekend arrived in Manila Friday morning.

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant tweeted to say that he would be in Manila Saturday morning as he would be leaving for the US Friday.

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant , who just wrapped up his five-city Asia tour for Nike, arrived late Friday from Shanghai in China.

New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul, Washington Wizards’ Javale McGee and Sacramento Kings’ Tyreke Evans all expressed their amazement at the warmest welcome they’ve ever received – and that was just at the airport.

“What a welcome from the fans here in Manila,” said the star playmaker Paul, who planed in with brother C.J., on his Twitter account.

“Shoutout to all my fans in Manila. They all showed me love at the airport,” said the former Rookie of the year Evans.

NBA Star Kobe Bryant emerges from a plane shortly after it touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Bryant and other NBA stars are in Manila for the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend. JESS YUSON / INQUIRER

“So much love on Manila,” said McGee, the runner-up of last season’s slam dunk contest.

And the lanky, high-flying center could not wait to bring, not just his dunking prowess, but his planking act here in Manila – with the jeepney as his first prospect.

“Pierre gon’ plank on one of these,” said McGee, posting a photo of a jeep with the route ‘Guadalupe.’” Planking is a wide spread craze involving lying face down in an unusual location.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ draft pick Derrick Williams, who has not even played a single NBA game yet due to the lockout, was also given a “crazy welcoming” by the fans.

And what was the first thing that the second over-all pick of this year’s draft noticed?

“I saw a 24-hour Shakeys on the way here!” said Williams. “Hopefully they deliver! Best pizza ever.”

Meanwhile, the Thunder’s bearded guard James Harden is already thinking about shopping two hours into his stay.

“Wanting to do some shopping in the Philippines. Any ideas?” Harden said.

The Thunder’s James Harden, Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose and Los Angeles Lakers’ Derek Fisher also arrived for the series of exhibition games to be played at the Araneta Coliseum on July 23 and 24.

The star-studded USA selection will go up against the PBA All-stars on Saturday at 7 p.m., even as they face the Philippine national basketball team on Sunday at 1 p.m.

“I can’t wait to get out on the court tomorrow [Saturday]!” exclaimed Paul.

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 , NBA , Sports

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Baho-Puwet/100002602908058 Baho Puwet

    they are just being diplomatic (about the Pinoy so called hospitality). They’ve said the same things when they were in China, Korea, etc…. You expect them to say anything different?

  • jodl-job dabon

    He does not know the sked….Pardon him…

  • mrtn

    Toink! insecure na naman ang gwapitong mga LOCALS! ahahahhaha…

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


  • 16 suffer burns in Batangas sugar factory accident
  • Angat level drops; cloud seeding set
  • Indigenous aspiration in Bangsamoro
  • Banahaw continues to lure pilgrims, trekkers
  • Passion of Christ moves survivors
  • Sports

  • Tottenham beats Fulham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Martino defends Messi, takes blame for Barca fail
  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • 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

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Minnie Driver plays devastated mother to a stillborn child
  • Business

  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Learning by doing: pilgrimage of faith
  • 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
  • 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

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace