NBA's James Harden, Eric Gordon pose with the Indiana Pacemates and Memphis Grizzlies' mascot, Grizz in front of the NBa Jeepney. They are curresntly in Manila to promote the NBA 3X Philippines. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Houston Rocket’s James Harden and New Orleans Pelicans’ Eric Gordon are currently in Manila to hype up the NBA 3X Philippines which kicks off at the SM MOA Music Hall this weekend.
It was the second visit for the 2013 NBA All-Star Harden, who marveled at the Filipinos’ passion for basketball.
“The fan base is amazing over here in the Philippines. I’m excited to be back,” said the 6-foot-5 shooting guard, who steered the Houston Rockets to the recent 2012-2013 NBA Playoffs.
“The last time we’re here when we played a game, it was sold out,” he recalled.
Harden will be back in Manila in October, this time with the whole Houston squad, for their NBA Global Games Philippines pre-season game against the Indiana Pacers.
For his part, Gordon said he expects a positive experience when he meets the fans, especially the younger ones who will be participating in the NBA 3X event.
James Harden and Eric Gordon together with NBA Philippines country manager Carlo Singson, Coca Cola vice presient Adel Tamano, the Pacemates and Grizz. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
“[The love for the game] is good overall for basketball,” said the 2009 All-Rookie Second Team selection.
NBA 3X Philippines 2013 presented by Sprite features a 3-on-3 tournament that provides players with an opportunity to hone their skills and compete among their peers.
Following the success of Pinoy street ballers Kobe Paras, Thirdy Ravena, Arvin Tolentino and Rashleigh Rivero in the recent FIBA Asia U 18 3-on-3 championships, this faster, shorter and more intense basketball format is gaining popularity around the world.
The event tips off on Friday, 3 p.m., at Center Court of the SM MOA. Harden and Gordon will help run clinics and interact with fans.
NBA 3X will also be graced by the Indiana Pacemates of the Indiana Pacers and Grizz, the Memphis Grizzlies team mascot.
"Grizz" together with the Indiana Pacemates. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
There are seven divisions -- four for boys and three for girls -- as well as a Celebrity Division, which will feature media and entertainment personalities.
Division winners will be entered into a special raffle whereby one lucky team will come away with four tickets to NBA Global Games Philippines 2013 between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers at the MOA Arena on October 10.