SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans Sy admitted on Tuesday that he originally intended to host an NBA regular season game at the MOA Arena when he started negotiations with Commissioner David Stern.
But when the long travel and logistical problems made such a plan not viable, Sy settled for a preseason game between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers to be played on October 10.
"I did try to broach the idea (of holding a regular season game here), but I'm not sure if the logistics and the jet lag or things like that is going to work," said Sy, who attended last year's NBA All-Star game in Orlando to personally start talks with Stern.
"When we were bidding, there were questions about bringing a preseason game that’s why it started last year, I went there to Orlando to personally invite David Stern to (have NBA teams) play a preseason game here."
Officials of both SM Prime Holdings and the NBA admitted the major roadblock to such a plan is the long travel the two teams will have to make to play a regular season game in the country.
Since the regular-season schedule of teams are tight, with games bunched closely together, a Manila game will leave the teams little time to recover from jet lag after a long flight.
Sy, however, is not giving up on the idea.
"But in case there is a chance, I will bring it over," he assured mediamen during the official launch of the Rockets-Pacers preseason game on Tuesday at the Sy-owned MOA Arena.