Rockets star Harden to grace NBA 3-on-3 tourney in Manila
MANILA, Philippines – NBA All-Star James Harden of the Houston Rockets and 2009 All-Rookie Second Team selection Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Pelicans will headline this year’s NBA 3X event at the SM Mall of Asia from July 26-28, the NBA announced today.
Organizers said Harden and Gordon will be on hand to help run clinics and interact with fans.
“I’m excited to return to the Philippines to be a part of NBA 3X,” said Harden, who steered the Rockets to the Playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season. He led the team in scoring (26.33 per game), assists (4.50 per game) and steals (2.00 per game) during their postseason run.
This marks the first of two trips Harden will make to Manila this year, which will also include the first-ever NBA Global Games Philippines in October – where the Rockets take on the Indiana Pacers in a preseason game.
“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,” Harden added.
The Rockets star had also been to town during the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend in 2011.
Gordon, for his part averaged 16.98 ppg, 3.26 apg and 1.83 rpg over the course of the 2012-13 NBA Season for the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly New Orleans Hornets).
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 begins June 20, on a first-come first-serve basis, and runs till July 12 or until all slots are full.
The event saw record levels of demand with over 250 teams on the waitlist vying to get a spot into the tournament. As a result, the Philippine International Convention Center has been added as a second venue to accommodate more teams.
“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. “Our passionate fans follow the NBA all season long on TV, NBA.com and through social media, and we are excited to bring NBA 3X Philippines back as a prelude to our first-ever NBA Global Games Philippines 2013 this October.”
“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. “Sprite and the NBA are long time partners and this is a great event for the whole family to come out and enjoy.”
Official partners include adidas, KFC and Phoenix Petroleum. Official NBA broadcasters are SOLARtv Network Incorporated (Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV) and Studio 23. X-Play Online Games Inc. (X-Play) and PhilStar.com will act as official media partners, while Spalding, SM Mall of Asia and SM Cinemas will act as supporting partners.
All participants of the NBA 3X Philippines 2013 presented by Sprite will receive a jersey and NBA sling bag. There will also be prizes for the winner of each division. Registration fees for the age divisions run at Php1,000 per team, and for open divisions at Php1,600 pesos per team.
Including the Philippines, NBA 3X will be conducted in 14 countries outside of the US this summer.
For more information on NBA 3X Philippines 2013 presented by Sprite and to register for the 3-on-3 tournament, log on to www.nba3x.com/philippines. Fans can also get updates on the event by following the NBA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nba_philippines and through Facebook at www.facebook.com/nba3xasia and www.facebook.com/philsnba.