|Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – It’s official.
Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant will lead an NBA selection in 2 exhibition games against a PBA All-Star squad and Smart Gilas Pilipinas on July 23 and 24, respectively.
Organizers of the Ultimate All-Star Weekend announced on Friday that Bryant will be joined by Sacramento Kings’ Tyreke Evans, LA Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden, New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul, and Minnesota Timberwolves’ Derrick LeRon Williams.
Talk N Text coach Chot Reyes, who took part in talks to bring the NBA players to Manila, said 2 more NBA players will join the superstar squad.
"You're not going here to watch a clinic, you're not gonna watch retired players. you're gonna watch real active NBA players," Reyes was quoted as saying in a tweet by ABS-CBN News’ TJ Manotoc.
The PBA All-Star to be coached by Reyes will play against the NBA selection on July 23.
Included in the PBA selection are B-Meg’s James Yap and Marc Pingris, Powerade’s Gary David, Alaska’s LA Tenorio, Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa, and Petron’s Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos.
Smart-Gilas, which will be powered by PBA players Asi Taulava, Dondon Hontiverso, Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams, will face the NBA section on July 24.
Reyes said this will help prepare Gilas for the FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China this coming September.
"We made a point to get young strong players to give Gilas a great workout. This will be 1st time Gilas will be complete w Alapag etc," he said in Manotoc’s tweet.
Reyes said Bryant will be the NBA selection’s playing coach.
He also said that they almost got NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers.
"We almost had Blake Griffin, he already said yes. But his brother is getting married," Reyes added.