MANILA, Philippines -- NBA stars DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors and Wesley Johnson of the LA Lakers are currently in Manila for this weekend’s NBA 3X Philippines 2014.
DeRozan and Johnson will headline this year’s event and will be on hand to help run clinics and interact with local fans.
The Score’s Marco Benitez interviews Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and LA Lakers’ Wesley Johnson. Photo from Marco Benitez's Instagram account
Now on its fourth year, the NBA 3X event combines a 3-on-3 on-court competition with free fan activities including a slam dunk contest, basketball clinics, 3-point shootouts, skills challenges and autograph sessions with the players.
“I’m excited for my first visit to the Philippines to experience the country’s unique culture and to be a part of NBA 3X,” said DeRozan said in a statement before his Manila visit.
“Filipinos are world-renowned for their passion for the NBA and I can’t wait for this exciting showcase of their basketball skills.”
DeRozan led the Raptors to a 48-win season — the team’s most successful regular season campaign ever — and helped steer them back into the Playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 NBA Season.
Johnson, on the other hand, worked as the Lakers' defensive stopper and rim protector from the three-point area. His improved shooting range proved him to be a durable competitor in a system not designed for him to score.
Jonhson averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists this season.