HOUSTON Rockets guard James Harden completes the cast of NBA stars in the all-star squad that will play against the Fiba World Cup-bound Gilas Pilipinas on July 22-23 in the tune-up matches dubbed the 'PLDT Last Home Stand' at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The arrival of Harden, the two-time NBA All-Star, Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings was announced by PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan through his official Twitter account @iamMVP.
“WOW! Completing our Fibr AllStars is 1st Team All-League guard James Harden w Tyson Chandler & Brandon Jennings.Game na!” Pangilinan said via the micro-blogging site on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Harden is making his third trip to Manila and will be playing for the second time here after last year’s very first NBA Global Games Philippines preseason match between the Rockets and the Indiana Pacers.
Harden, along with Chandler, the seven-foot 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and Jennings will be joining a talented and veteran-laden NBA cast led by NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Indiana Pacers star swingman Paul George, Toronto Raptors’ DeMar De Rozan, Terrence Ross, the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk king, Ed Davis of the Memphis Grizzlies and playmaker Kyle Lowry, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and incoming rookie Nick Johnson.
From among the visiting NBA stars, five have been named to the US' 19-man pool for the Fiba World Cup, namely Harden, actually a holdover from the Americans' 2010 team, Lillard, Griffin, DeRozan, and George.
The charity games against a select NBA squad will serve to toughen the Gilas national team, which is preparing for the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea this August and September, respectively.