NBA MVP Derrick Rose joining Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul in Manila after all
Basketball-crazy Filipinos will get to see the reigning National Basketball Association MVP in action for the first time when Derrick Rose joins the cast of NBA Stars, who are coming for two exhibition matches this week.
MVP Sports Foundation president Al Panlilio Sunday confirmed the participation of Rose, the former rookie of the year from the Chicago Bulls, as the last member of the eight-player lineup top billed by Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets.
“There’s just one detail we’re trying to fix but he’s (Rose) okay,” said Panlilio, whose group is in-charge of putting together the historical event set at the Araneta Coliseum.
The NBA stars will first take on a Philippine Basketball Association at 7 p.m. on July 23 before meeting the Smart Gilas Pilipinas squad at 1 p.m. on July 24.
The “Ultimate All-Star Weekend” also features Derek Fisher of the LA Lakers, Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, James Harden of the Oklahoma Thunder, DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and rookie Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Current rookie of the year and slam-dunk champion Blake Griffin of the Clippers and two-time scoring champion Kevin Durant of the Thunder were supposed to come but begged off due to other commitments.
NBA team owners and the players’ union have yet to sign a new collective bargaining agreement, forcing these players to look for other venues to keep them in shape.
Although several NBA stars have played here in the past, this is the first time that the reigning NBA MVP will be strutting his prowess before Filipinos.
Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes will call the shots for the PBA stars composed of James Yap and Marc Pingris of B-Meg Derby Ace, Mark Caguioa and JC Intal of Barangay Ginebra, Arwin Santos and Rabeh Al-Hussaini of Petron Blaze, TNT’s Ryan Reyes, Jason Castro and Larry Fonacier; Alaska’s Sonny Thoss and LA Tenorio, Sol Mercado of Meralco, Gary David of Powerade, Gabe Norwood of Rain Or Shine and Air21’s Danny Seigle.