When NBA Commissioner David Stern said during All-Star Weekend that the league will be “doing lots of exhibition traveling, I have no doubt, this coming preseason,” he wasn’t lying.
The Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers will play the first ever preseason game in the Philippines on October 10, reports Interaksyon.com. The game will be played at the SM Mall of Asia arena in the city of Pasay.
Last June, InterAKTV first reported that the SM Group was working on bringing an NBA game to the Philippines.
“Hans Sy was invited by Commissioner Stern during the All-Star Game, and Hans told the Commissioner that he has an arena that is suitable for hosting one of the NBA games,” said Junel Baculi, the athletic director of National University which is part of the SM Group. NU hosted this UAAP season, whose games were played at the MOA Arena.
Filipinos last got a taste of top-flight NBA action in 2011, when NBA superstars led by Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul played a pair of exhibition games against a PBA selection and the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team during the league’s lockout.