NBA OFF-SEASON: James Harden in Manilla for NBA 3X

By Phillip Pyle

GMA News

Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden arrived in the Philippines on Thursday along with New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon to kick of NBA 3X.

NBA 3X Philippines, now on its third straight year, is a three-on-three tournament with male and female divisions with a combined seven different age categories to be played at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall and the Philippines International Convention Center (PICC). The tournament last for three full days of 3×3 basketball across seven age divisions.

This is Harden’s second visit to the Philippines since playing an exhibition game in Manila during the 2011 NBA lockout, and he liked the growth of emerging basketball markets like the Philippines.

“The fan base is amazing in the Philippines, the crowd was unbelievable,” he said, based on his experience. “So obviously the fan base is growing all over the world.”

“To impact people’s lives and make sure they’re on the right path just to be interacting with and going through drills with them, it should be an unbelievable week,” Harden also said. There are the under 13, U-16, U-18 and open divisions (18-years-old and above) for men, and U16, U18 and open divisions for women.

Winners from each division will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win four tickets to the NBA Global Games on October 10 between Houston and Indiana at the MOA Arena. The victors in the boys U18 division, meanwhile, will be given slots to participate in the Adidas Derrick Rose Tour, including the 3-on3 grand finals, scheduled in September.

Harden and Gordon, were joined by the Indiana Pacemates and Grizz, the Memphis Grizzlies’ official team mascot.