FILIPINO basketball fans get a glimpse of Houston star James Harden prior to the NBA preseason game between the Rockets and Indiana Pacers as the high-scoring guard will visit Manila as part of the NBA 3X Philippines 2013 presented by Sprite.
Harden will be coming over along with New Orleans stalwart Eric Gordon, the Indiana Pacers’ official dance team (Pacemates), and Memphis Grizzlies mascot Grizz.
Now on its third year, the event will be held from July 26 to 28 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
Harden is expected to lead the Rockets when they play the Pacers in the first-ever NBA pre-season game to be held in the country on October 10 at the MOA Arena.
This will be the second time Harden will be visiting the country after playing here two years ago as part of the NBA selection that took part in the two-day Smart NBA Challenge.
“I’m excited to return to the Philippines to be a part of NBA 3X,” said Harden in a statement. “Filipinos have an unmatched passion for basketball and I look forward to meeting the fans and catching some of the best basketball talent the country has to offer.”
The All-Star guard steered the Rockets to this year’s NBA playoffs, leading the team in scoring (26.33 ppg), assists (4.50 apg), and steals (2.00 spg). It marked the first playoff appearance for Houston since the 2008-09 season.
Gordon, an All-Rookie second team selection in 2009, averaged 16.98 ppg., 3.26 apg, and 1.83 rpg over the course of the 2012-13 season for the Pelicans (formerly Hornets).
The event celebrates basketball and NBA culture with free fan activities including a slam dunk contest, basketball clinics, three-point shootouts, skills challenges, autograph sessions, and more.
The competitive 3-on-3 tournament features groups for boys’ under-18, under-16, and under-13, and for girls’ under-18 and under-16.
There will also be an open category for both men and women.
Registration for NBA 3X Philippines 2013 presented by Sprite begins on June 20, on a first-come first-serve basis, and runs till July 12 or until all slots are full.
“The ongoing support from our Filipino fans is amazing and helps bring our game to life through NBA 3X presented by Sprite,” said Carlo Singson, Philippines country manager, NBA Asia.
“We are excited to continue on this journey with the NBA and establish the NBA 3X Philippines presented by Sprite as a marquee event in the Philippines," said Jing Atienza, Sprite group brand manager at Coca-Cola Philippines.