LeBron James Inspires fans in basketball-crazed Manila

by Leo Reyes, Sports Editor |

Philippine basketball fans were treated to a brief and magical basketball game featuring the NBA superstar LeBron James together with a selection of top players in the Philippine collegiate basketball league.

James is in the Philippines for Nike’s “Witness History” event at the Mall of Asia Arena (MOA) in Pasay City.

In a brief exhibition game before thousands of basketball fans inside the MOA, James displayed samples of moves that made him so popular while playing for Miami Heat.  His fancy assists, dunks and fade away treys were most applauded by the audience.

Non-stop chants of “MVP! MVP!” were heard throughout the show as the current NBA season MVP played exhibition game with top collegiate players in the country.

Team LeBron which consists of selected players from UAAP challenged the Smart Gilas team but lost by two points in the 10-minute exhibition game.

“I’m lost for words. This is unbelievable. This is crazy,” LeBron told the audience at the MOA before the exhibition game.

“I didn’t know what to expect. This is overwhelming.” James, who was visibly amazed at how passionate basketball fans are in the country said.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who is a Filipino-American, has shared with James his experience with Filipino basketball fans during his trips to Manila.

“Coach Spoelstra has been telling me how basketball is in this country and now I know why,” said James.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but this is something I will never forget.” James added.

Basketball is the number one sport in the Philippines and top NBA stars like Kobe Bryant often visit the country to touch base with their local fans.

On October 10, the NBA Global tour will feature a preseason game between the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets at the MOA.

featured photo courtesy of

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