MANILA, Philippines - The Boston Celtics' All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo is visiting Manila for the first time as a prelude to the Philippine leg of the Red Bull King of the Rock Tournament, which will kick off next year.
Rondo arrived in the country Monday afternoon after spending a few days in Taiwan, where he watched the finals of their King of the Rock Tournament.
The King of the Rock tournament is a one-on-one streetball tournament, with each game lasting five minutes with a running clock. It's a "win or go home" event that was played for the first time on September 18, 2010 at the prison yard in Alcatraz Island.
"I think it's a great event," Rondo said in an interview with ABS-CBN News at the Titan basketball store in The Fort. "It started out not so big, but now it's global."
"This is my third year watching the tournament, and I look forward to meeting the players one-on-one. It's been a great moment for me," he added.
The 2012 version of the tournament will feature more international talent, with streetballers from 25 countries all competing for the honor of being crowned "King."
The King of the Rock Tournament will begin in the Philippines in 2013, and Rondo is in town to catch a glimpse of the country's best basketball talent.
"The decision to visit Manila was due to my curiosity about the Filipinos' love for basketball," Rondo said in a statement. "I also wanted to experience the unique brand of hospitality the Filipinos are known for."
"Red Bull's plans to bring the King of the Rock here next year are being finalized. I'm here to help spread the word and encourage the talented Filipino athletes to join the tournament," he added.
Before sitting down for an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, Rondo found the time to get a shave and a hair cut at the Titan Barbershop, as well as a massage.
"It was good, it was very relaxing," said the three-time NBA All-Star.
Rondo will conduct a skills clinic for the top players of the UAAP and the NCAA on Tuesday at The Playground in the Ronac Art Center in San Juan City.
He will also be the guest of honor when a restored basketball court is presented to the community of Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City on Wednesday.
Rondo is also expected to take in the UAAP game between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Wednesday afternoon.
Rondo will then go to Hong Kong, where he will watch the final of another King of the Rock Tournament.
Rondo, a 6-foot-1 point guard, won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and led the NBA in assists last season, wherein he was named to the All-Defensive Second Team and the All-NBA Third Team.