NBA Treats the Philippines to Back to Back Games

"We Want Scalabrine." 
"Kobe Marry Me." 
"Kobe Marry My Wife."

These were just some of the wacky fan-made signs being bannered on the last NBA exhibition game in Araneta Coliseum.

On Saturday it was a 26-point blow-out over the PBA All Stars. Yesterday things got a bit tighter, particularly in the fourth period against the Smart Gilas team, but the all-star delegation managed to keep their composure and pull away with a 98-89 victory.

The Smart Gilas promised the fans to take the game beyond "exhibition and entertainment" level and did just that, trimming down a 21-point deficit to just 7. 

Although they ran out of time and were finally stymied by the efforts of Chris Paul, JaVale McGee and a certain big fish from LA, the Gilas overall gave the all-stars a good showdown.

Our country is honored to have folks like the reigning scoring champion, reigning MVP, two former Rookies of the year and even the Black Mamba take their talents to one of our 7,107 islands. Most fans couldn't ask for more, although if you bleed green, you'd certainly like to see at least a representation from the Celtics. Even if it's Jeff Green or Delonte West.
Ok I lied in that last sentence.
Even though I wasn't much active in those events, I'd like to credit a number of our Filipino sportswriters and bloggers who were able to cover blow-by-blow action, get excellent seats, snap pictures and take some videos. You can find more details and information from Sid Ventura (on a recap of the two games - where I got the wacky fan-made signs), Gary Mercado on the Kobe Bryant Fan Experience, Althea Lapus on some of the coolest snapshots and short vids and the Philippine Daily Inquirer on this "astig" pose on the right.

Speaking of blow-by-blow action, a lot of local celebrities where there - one of which was international boxing champion Manny Pacquiao (who arrived in the fourth quarter and was greeted by his fellow Nike endorser, Kobe Bryant). It caused a bit of reversal on the starstruck phenomenon as players like Kevin Durant and Chris Paul this time were the ones who wanted to take pictures with Pacquiao.

Shoutout to the Boston's Big 4: "We are Here. We Are Waiting."