THE Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets are both coming to the country fully loaded when they play in the historic NBA preseason match at the Mall of Asia Arena next week.
Dwight Howard plays his first preseason game as a Rocket as he leads a souped-up Houston team in the highly-awaited October 10 contest together with high-scoring guard James Harden, and Asian sensation Jeremy Lin as per the official lineup furnished Spin.ph on Wednesday.
The Pacers are also bringing over the same cast that stretched two-time NBA champion Miami Heat to a deciding seventh game in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, including big man Roy Hibbert, David West, George Hill, Lance Stephenson, and Paul George, who recently signed a multi-year contract extension with the team.
Also included in Indiana’s 16-man roster is former Barangay Ginebra import Donald Sloan, fit-again Danny Granger, and new acquisition Luis Scola, who gets to play against his former team.
Sloan suited up for the Ginebra Gin Kings during the 2011 Governors Cup.
The Pacers, the emerging powers in the East who are out to once again crowd the Heat for the title, will also parade Rasual Butler, Christopher Copeland, Solomon Hill, Clarence Howard, Darnell Jackson, Orlando Johnson, Ian Mahinmi, and veteran point guard CJ Watson.
The Rockets meanwhile, are bringing in a strong 19-man roster that will have former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby, Aaron Brooks, Omri Casspi, and Ronnie Brewer backing up the star trio of Howard, Harden and Lin.
Completing Houston’s lineup are Omer Asik, Patrick Beverley, Isaiah Canaan, Robert Covington, Francisco Garcia, Jordan Henriquez, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Gregory Smith, Reggie Williams, Bob Young, and young Chandler Parsons, who was once linked to Filipina actress KC Concepcion.
With the exception of Harden and Sloan, the rest of the players are coming over to the country for the first time, giving Filipino fans to chance to see and watch them play in the flesh.
Following the Manila game – the first ever NBA pre-season match to be held here - both the Rockets and Pacers will proceed to Taipei to play in another NBA Global Game on October 13.
NBA Legends Clyde Drexler, Robert Horry, and Jalen Rose will be gracing the Global Games both in Manila and Taipei.
In addition to on-court action, the NBA Global Games will feature a variety of events off the court, including NBA Cares community outreach program and interactive fan events in select cities.
Other NBA Global Games to be played in Asia include the tussle between Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively.