NBA Thrilla in Manila


Houston Rockets vs Indiana Pacers — NBA Thrilla in Manila
Words by: Ms_Mars

The BIG news is already out of the bag! To all our basketball friends out there, better start saving up this early for your 1st ever NBA preseason game happening on October 10, 2013 at the Mall of Asia Arena featuring the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers.

This exciting development was recently announced to the public and will exclusively be brought to us by the partnership of NBA and the management of SM.


“It is only fitting that we bring the NBA preseason game to Philippine shores. This is definitely history in the making,” declared Mr. Hans T. Sy, President SM Prime Holdings, Inc. during the jampacked press conference held at the MOA Arena which was kicked off with a terrific cheerdance presentation by National University, 2nd runner up 2012 UAAP CDC champions.


And to officially seal the deal straight from the USA, a special VTR was shown featuring NBA Commissioner David J. Stern’s message to everyone in the Philippines:

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“Filipino basketball fans are among the world and we thank you for supporting us”, according to Commissioner Stern. “The Philippines is an ideal setting for the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers to take part in a showcase of our game and give fans in the region a memorable NBA experience.”

The Houston Rockets is a young and exciting team with NBA All-Star James Harden and fast-rising point guard Asian pride Jeremy Lin. The Pacers on the other hand boast of All-Stars Danny Granger, Paul George, Roy Hibbert and David West. The team currently ranks 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings.


Another special VTR message addressed to the Filipino NBA fans by Rockets’ head coach Kevin McHale immediately followed.

NBA Asia’s Senior VP & Managing Director Mr. Scott Levy stated, “The Mall of Asia Arena is a spectacular, state-of-the-art building that will give the great Filipino fans the authentic NBA experience.” He added, “SM has been a long-time partner across merchandising, events including marketing and media and has been vital in our plans to stage an NBA game here in the Philippines.”

As part of the build up to the game, NBA and SM will host a variety of activities throughout 2013 including NBA players and legend appearances, viewing parties, mall road shows and grassroots basketball events. In addition to the on court NBA action, the league and its partners will also conduct NBA Cares activities to give back to the local community.


During the Q&A portion, I had the chance to throw a question to Mr. Levy asking if he were to “personally” pick two top teams to hold an NBA game here in the country who would it be? And without batting an eyelash, he quickly replied, “Pacers and Rockets!” to the cheer of fellow media crowd.

The upcoming game is part of the NBA’s comprehensive global games schedule that will have eight teams play in eight cities in six countries this October. The tour will also feature the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards.

Spotted during the media conference were sports/showbiz personalities Reema Chanco,Rovilson Fernandez, Marco Alcaraz, Luis Alandy; veteran sportscasters Ronnie Nathanielz, Quinito Henson, Dyan Castillejo, JP Soriano, Mark Zambrano, TJ Manotoc; PBA cagers Arwind Santos, Chris Lutz, Japeth Aguilar, Jojo Lastimosa and Chris Tiu. The presscon was hosted by Mr. Chiqui Reyes.

Among the corporate VIP’s who also graced the occasion were Ms.Nicole C. Deato, Marketing & Sponsorhip Head, Mall of Asia/SM Tickets; Mr. Arnel C. Gonzales Business Unit Head, Mall of Asia Arena; Mr.Edgar C. Tejerero Senior VP West Avenue Theatres Corp; Mr. Francesco Suarez, Business Development & Marketing Partnerships NBA Asia and Mr. Carlo Singson, Country Manager Philippines NBA Asia.

Aside from Manila, the first-ever NBA preseason games are to be held in Brazil, including cities of Bilbao, Spain and Manchester, England. The tour will also go to Beijing and Shanghai, China; Taipei, Taiwan and Istanbul, Turkey. NBA has staged 138 preseason and regular-season games in 19 countries and territories across Europe, the Americas and Asia since 1978.

As for ticket prices, “I would advice our NBA fans to visit and follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds so they’d be the first to know,” concludes NBA Asia Country Manager Mr. Carlo Singson.

NBA aficionados can also visit for more information and updates about the preseason game.

Many thanks to Ms. Joyce Ramos, SM e-Plus Digital, Ms. Karen Rusiana, Marketing, Social Media Group and to PINOYFITNESS for the chance to cover this media presscon.

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  1. So, it took only 500 years before the NBA finally reached out us formally, while they have been doing preseasons in other countries like Italy, China, Japan, France, etc. since the 80s. I expect this to be the new David Pomeranz concert that will take advantage of our low entertainment tax. People wake up.

  2. @RED What’s wrong with that? It’s a win-win situation if that’s the case. The NBA will pay less money to play here, and Filipinos get to watch them live. If you don’t like it, you have the option not to see it. And oh, there was no NBA in 1513 (and yes, I know you were just exaggerating).


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