Rockets star in Manila in July for NBA 3-on-3 challenge

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Sunday, June 16, 2013


HOUSTON Rockets stalwart James Harden will make his first of two trips to the Philippines this year in late July to help handle the 3-on-3 tournament of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Harden will be joined by 2009 All-Rookie Second Team selection Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Pelicans in running the clinic and interacting with fans of the event slated July 26 to 28 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City.

“I’m excited to return to the Philippines to be a part of NBA 3X,” said Harden. “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.”

Now on its third year, the 3-on-3 tournament features groups for boys aged 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 begins on Thursday on a first-come first-serve basis, and runs until July 12 or until all slots are full.

Last year, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) was added as second venue after more than 250 teams were on the waiting list.

After the 3-on-3 event, Harden will be back in Manila in October for the pre-season match between the Rockets and Eastern Conference finalists Indiana Pacers at the SM MOA Arena. Tickets for the game, with the most expensive priced at P32,300, went on sale starting Sunday.

Harden paced the Rockets to their first playoff in four years, leading the team in scoring (26.33 points per game), assists (4.50 APG), and steals (2.00 SPG) during their postseason run.

He was in the Philippines in 2011, along with NBA stars such as Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose, as they went against the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) selection and national team Smart Gilas Pilipinas. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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