MANILA – Basketball fans in the Philippines can expect more NBA 2K events in the future.
Following the success of the NBA 2K League Asia-Pacific (APAC) Invitational on November 17-18 in Quezon City, the NBA 2K League said tournaments will likely be held again in the Philippines.
Philippine teams, however, fell short in the recent event, including an eGilas-led squad that aced the eFIBA Asian qualifiers.
Heavy favorites coming into the tournament, eGilas were smashed by fellow Pinoy team NAOS Esports, who cruised to the finals but were also beaten by NO WAY OUT from Australia-New Zealand, 2-0 (56-46, 52-35).
Eligibility to be drafted to the US-based NBA 2K League was at stake.
Lindsay Ullman, head of business development for the NBA 2K League, said that the recent APAC Invitational is only the start of many competitions in the Philippines, noting that Manila is a perfect fit to hold tournaments for the basketball video game.
"This is honestly like the perfect launching point for us because this is our first event (in Manila), however, we know we cannot run events throughout the entirety of the year," Ullman said.
"There will be some virtual events that will lead up to our in-person culmination which will be back here in Manila again next year," she added.
"I think it's clear that Manila is absolutely the perfect place particularly because of how big basketball and the NBA (are) here, and then on top of that when we look at 2K, the Philippines is one of the top countries in Southeast Asia in playing 2K," Ullman said. "So for us, just the natural fit, in terms of culture, fandom, and excitement, makes the place [perfect]."
The 2K executive also announced that NBA players are set to become ambassadors to promote the game.
"Actually we just completed a deal with the NBPA or (NBA) Players Association, we're really excited about that... That will give us the opportunity to let NBA players play with our players, have them Twitch broadcast, (and) participate in events. We think that's fantastic because NBA players are 2K players and they're also really good at the game," Ullman said.
"We're excited to better align our properties together," she added.