After Lebron James of the Miami Heat, it's the turn of NBA rising stars James Harden and Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans to visit this basketball-crazy country.
The duo arrived in the country Wednesday morning and held a press conference at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza for the upcoming annual NBA 3X event.
Donning their NBA 3X shirts the duo greeted the media in a well attended press conference and expressed their excitement in their visit to the basketball-crazed Philippines as the lead stars for the 3 on 3 tournaments that will be held at the SM MOA Music Hall from July 26-28. A second venue, the Philippines International Convention Center, has been also added to accommodate more teams this year.
“The fan base out here is amazing. I never really know I had a fan base here until I came out here. I gave Eric an inside scoop of how crazy and passionate they are with basketball out here,” said Harden.
Harden is in the country for the second time since 2011 when he came with NBA Superstars Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul among others to play a pair of exhibition games during the lockout period.
Harden gave Gordon an introduction of the passion for the game he has witnessed from the Filipino fans.
“It will be fun to check out the young basketball players in the country and teach some of them the game of basketball,” said Gordon, who is in the country for the first time.
The annual NBA 3X tournament includes various division namely the under 13, under-16, under-18 and open divisions (18-years-old and above) for men, and under-16, under-18 and open divisions for women.
Adding to the excitement of the event, division winners will be entered into a special raffle whereby one lucky team will come away with four (4) tickets to NBA Global Games Philippines 2013, The first ever NBA Pre seasoned games in the Philippines between the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers at the Mall of Asia Arena on October 10.
Additionally the winning team for the boys U18 division at NBA 3x Philippines 2013 presented by Sprite will also automatically receive a slot to participate in the Adidas D Rose Tour3 on 3 Grand Finals. The players will be given adidas apparel and D Rose footwear as part of their participation on the said event.
Harden and Gordon are not the only NBA representatives who will grace the three-day affair they are also accompanied by the Indiana Pacers cheer dance squad the Indiana Pacemates and Memphis Grizzlies mascot ‘Grizz’.
The Pacemates gave a dance number to the delight of the crowd at hand while Grizz entertained the with funny antics involving host Jinno Rufino and the people in the press conference.
NBA Country Manager Carlo Singson was also in attendance and bared that NBA 3x broke records for teams that applied in the prestigious tournament.
"Due to the overwhelming response to the event we've increased the number of teams this year," said Singson. “Over 200 teams registered for the 3X tournament and it is only getting bigger and better each year,” he added.
For more pictures on the said event please click the link, https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.472156926214000.1073741942.348405828589111&type=3