Friday, September 11, 2009


nba vs. pba

A history will take its sheet spread tomorrow as NBA legends go up against our very own icons of Philippine National Basketball League. It may sound too surreal but it seems like anything can be done these days for the aim of bringing high value entertainment.

Game on Friday (Araneta Coliseum)
7:30 p.m. — PBA All-Star vs NBA Generations

Some of them have long retired, but everybody knows that former NBA stars Dominique Wilkins, Vlade Divac, Tim Hardaway, and Robert Horry – are still capable of displaying flashes of brilliance.

Hardaway is known before for his deadly crossover moves; Horry made his mark for his clutch 3-point shots, Divac for his passing ability despite his 7-foot-1 size, and Wilkins for his variety of electrifying dunks.

The four former NBA greats will see action as the NBA Generations plays an exhibition game against the PBA All-Stars – past and present – in the final leg of the NBA’s 2009 Asian Challenge on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Coaching for the NBA Generations is Rory White of the National Basketball Developmental League (NBDL) with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as “assistant celebrity” coach, while national team coach Yeng Guiao will call the shots for the PBA All-Stars in the 7:30 p.m. encounter.

“It’s going to be fun and exciting,” said Guiao, who coached Team Pilipinas in the recent FIBA-Asia Championship in Tianjin, China. “I’m sure that they can still play the game, they can stil run and shoot.”

“These are the guys who changed the game. I know these guys are not out of shape. They haven’t lost that competitiveness but I’m sure it will be fun. We’ll try to be very competitive and we’ll try to beat them,” added Guiao.

The four former NBA players will have as teammates current NBDL stars, including onetime PBA import Russel Robinson.

The other members of the All-Star team are former players like four-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) Alvin Patrimonio, 1990 MVP Allan Caidic, 1989 Rookie-MVP Benjie Paras, 1998 MVP Kenneth Duremdes and Ronnie Magsanoc. Also in the team are active players like Dondon Hontiveros, Marc Pingris, Jay-R Reyes, Arwind Santos, Asi Taulava, Joachim Thoss, Rico Villanueva, Joseph Yeo, and Wynne Arboleda.

Among the ex-NBA players, it was Horry, 39, who retired most recently from playing after winning seven titles – three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two each with the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs.

Abdul-Jabbar, who is in his fourth visit in the country but first since 1995 when he played an exhibition game together with fellow LA Lakers superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson, said that he’s looking forward to a good game against the Filipino players.

“We expect a good game. I really expect that a very good game, competitive and something the fans will enjoy,” said the 62-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a 19-time NBA Star who won six NBA championships and six season MVP awards.