NBA fans in the Philippines should keep their fingers crossed that Dwight Howard signs with the Houston Rockets.
Officials have assured that should free-agent Howard decide to leave the Los Angeles Lakers and sign with Houston, he will be part of the Rockets team that will play the Indiana Pacers in the first NBA preseason game to be staged in the country.
NBA country manager Carlo Singson said that whoever is in the two teams' lineup by October 10 will be suiting up in the historic match at the Mall of Asia Arena.
That includes Howard, who is being heavily courted by the Rockets.
“If he is with the Rockets at that time, yes he will be here as well as anyone who will be on the roster, barring any serious injuries,” said Singson during Tuesday’s press conference at the start of the 100-day countdown to the preseason game.
Howard met with Houston management on Monday at the start of the NBA's free-agency period. Aside from the Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks are also trying to lure the big man out of Los Angeles, which is also keen to keep him.
The Rockets are so bent on signing up Howard that Rockets legends Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler joined top management in the pitch to the former Orlando Magic star.
Another former Houston star, Yao Ming, had also reportedly joined the pitch in a talk with him through Skype.
It will be a different story, however, for Larry Bird, who has recently returned to the Pacers as the team’s president. Singson said there is no guarantee the Celtics legend will join the Pacers in the trip.
“We hope he will come. He is employed with the Pacers again so we hope he will come,” said Singson.