The Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers participated in the first NBA game ever played in the Philippines. The Mall of Asia Arena hosted 20,000 that paid anywhere from $13 to just under $800 face value for tickets.
“The Philippines has a population of 100 million or so, so they’re a very important part of our Southeast Asian strategy,” commissioner David Stern said during a pre-game press conference. “It is the most intense and robust and knowledgeable basketball market. I was going to say outside of the U.S., but it may lead the world. I’m not sure.”
The Rockets controlled the game from start to finish. Omri Casspi led the Rockets with 17 points, Donatas Motiejunas had 16, while Harden and Chandler Parsons scored 15 points each as the Rockets went wire-to-wire for a 116-96 win. Dwight Howard had seven points, three boards and five fouls in 21 minutes. Paul George led the Pacers with 13 points.