MANILA, Philippines – SM president Hans Sy still hopes to stage an NBA regular season game in the country even as the SM Mall of Asia Arena will already play host to a historic hoops event on October.
No less than NBA Commissioner David Stern confirmed Tuesday that the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers will take their talents to the Philippines and play an NBA pre-season game on October 10 at the MOA Arena.
“It started last year when they had the All Star Game in Orlando, and I went there personally to invite David Stern and (talked about) the idea of the pre-season game,” Sy told reporters during Tuesday’s press conference.
When asked about the possibility of holding a regular season game in the Philippines in the future, Sy revealed it had been part of his plan.
“I did try to broach that idea, but I’m not sure if logistics, and jet lag and things like that, if it would really work,” he said.
“We’re still figuring things out, but if in case there is a chance, I will bring it over,” Sy added.
NBA Asia vice president and managing director Scott Levy, for his part, said they were focused about holding the Houston-Indiana pre-season game first before thinking about a potential regular season game.
“Our focus right now is to execute a hugely successful pre-season game, and then we’ll continue to figure out what’s next,” Levy said.
Levy was full of praise for the Mall of Asia Arena, calling it “a state-of-the-art facility that is entirely capable of handling an NBA event.”
“A lot goes into an NBA event, and just to be able to say that we can stage a game here is a big statement to the SM Arena,” he said.