It’s a promise fulfilled for a multitude of Pinoy basketball fans after seeing the “King” in the flesh at Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
It was LeBron James’ third visit to Manila, but this one’s quite different as it was meant to make up for his cancelled appearance scheduled last year.
“I said 2 years ago I'll be coming back, but last year some unfortunate things happened,” explained the NBA superstar. “But I'm back.”
Fronting the event was a host of Gilas Pilipinas players who engaged in an exhibition game.
The Gilas Young Blood composed of Kai Sotto, Raymar Jose, RR Pogoy, Kiefer Ravena, Raymon Almazan, Ray Parks, Matt Wright, Baser Amer, Mike Tolomia and LA Revilla went up against the Gilas OGs.
The OGs were made up of Gilas veterans LA Tenorio, Jayson Castro, Jeff Chan, Gane Norwood, Jimmy Alapag, Ranudel de Ocampo, Jared Dillinger, Japeth Aguilar, Gary David and Paul Lee.
In the final minutes, James decided to step inside the court and play, joining the young Gilas team to the crowd’s delight.
The 3-time NBA champion fired a few long shot attempts, but the crowd went wild every time he attacked the rim for a couple of dunks.
He ended the game with a windmill jam that punctuated the Young Bloods' 92-71 win.
“I’m happy to be with you guys. I have a busy schedule but there’s no way I’m not coming back here,” he told the crowd afterwards.
“I’m happy to be celebrating this time with you guys, I thank you so much. I hope you guys continue welcoming me, man, cause I’d love to come back.”
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)