PBA Legends vs. NBA Legends coming in Sept.

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PBA All-Star to battle selection from NBA
By Krista Angela M. Montealegre, Reporter

TWO powerhouse leagues will come together to give Filipino basketball fans a rare treat when the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) All-Stars play host to a National Basketball Association (NBA) selection at the Araneta Coliseum on September 11.

Considered as the “biggest and most ambitious” NBA event in the country, the first NBA Asia Challenge will bring the largest contingent of American professional league superstars to Manila led and coached by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

The team will feature an impressive cast of NBA Legends including Dominique Wilkins, a nine-time All-Star and two-time Slam Dunk champion; Tim Hardaway, a five-time All-Star and hailed as one of the best point guards in league history; Vlade Divac, a 2001 All-Star; and Robert Horry, a seven-time NBA champion. They will team up with six players from the NBA D-League for the match.

Horry, nicknamed “Big Shot Rob” because of his clutch shooting in important games, said he is very excited about the match pitting the NBA’s best against the Philippines’ finest.

“I’ve got a lot of fans who are Filipinos. I know basketball is very big there and it’s a beautiful country,” said Horry via a live phone patch interview at The Dusit Thani hotel. “I know for sure it will be a great experience.”

Not to be outdone are the PBA All-Stars who will be topbilled by four-time Most Valuable Player Alvin Patrimonio, three-point king Allan Caidic, sweet shooting Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras, the only PBA player to be named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in one season. Around 8 to 10 regular pro league players will reinforce the PBA Legends, said PBA Commissioner Sonny Barrios.

“The players are excited to play against these NBA legends. We’ll only have about eight regular PBA players because we don’t want to be too strong,” said Barrios in jest. “Expect the PBA All-Stars to beat the NBA Legends.”

The New Jersey Nets’ Dunking Divas and mascot Sly the Silver Fox will be on site to provide passionate Filipino basketball enthusiasts with an authentic NBA experience presented by CS/9 and Basketball TV.

Before arriving in Manila, the NBA selection will make a stop in Korea to see action against the players of the Korean Basketball League in Seoul on September 5 and in Incheon on September 6

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