A look back at the Pacers-Rockets preseason game in the Philippines

Published October 9, 2021, 11:00 AMJC Ansis

The league played its first-ever NBA Global Games in the Philippines on October 10, 2013.

October 10, 2013 was the day the NBA held its first preseason game in the Philippines.

News came out in March of that year that the league was playing a game at the Mall of Asia Arena. When it was announced, I didn't care who was playing or that it was only going to be a preseason game. The fact that the NBA was going to the Philippines for one game had me going insane. I couldn't wrap my head around it.

I vividly remember that entire week. The Pacers and Rockets flew in a couple of days before the game and, as a rookie sportswriter back then, I was thrilled to get access to their practices. We were given opportunities as well to interview guys like Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, and David West, just to name a few.

At the time, I hadn't watched a live NBA game in my life so to see—and talk to—NBA players up close was pretty surreal. A dream come true. I was also inches away from NBA legends, such as Robert Horry, Jalen Rose, Marcus Camby, Clyde Drexler, and of course, Larry Bird. Even got to shake the hand of then NBA commissioner David Stern.

The days leading up to the historic event were pretty incredible and will always be memorable to me. The preseason game, which James Harden and the Rockets won by the way, was the icing on the cake.

The NBA hasn't held a game here in the Philippine since then but I'm sure there's a huge chance it will happen again knowing how crazy the country is about the NBA.

Here are the highlights from the 2013 NBA Global Game Philippines: