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NBA D-League Players To Take Part In Asia Challenge

MANILA, August 4, 2010 – NBA Asia Challenge, an exhibition game featuring NBA Legends, NBA Development League (NBA D-League) players, and current All-Stars and legends from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will return to the Philippines for the second consecutive year, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Solar Entertainment Corporation announced today.

The NBA and the PBA will stage the event – presented by Solar TV and Basketball TV – at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, on Friday, Aug. 27 at 8:00 p.m. The inaugural NBA Asia Challenge took place last year and attracted more than 10,000 fans. Tickets for the game go on sale Aug. 5 at Ticketnet outlets at SM Malls or online at www.ticketnet.com.ph .

Each team will be comprised of a mix of NBA Legends, NBA D-League players, and PBA All-Stars and Legends. NBA Legends headlining this year’s event include NBA champion and nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton; six-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber; 2002 NBA champion and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond; and 2000 NBA champion and 1997 NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Glen Rice.

PBA Legends participating in the exhibition game are Alvin “The Captain” Patrimonio, Ronnie “Point Laureate” Magsanoc, the only rookie-MVP in PBA history, Benjie “Tower of Power” Paras, and one of the PBA’s 25 Greatest Players, Atoy “Fortune Cookie” Co. Current PBA players who will play in the game include Dondon “Cebuano Hotshot” Hontiveros, Rico Maierhofer, 2008 Defensive Player of the Year Arwind “The Spiderman” Santos, and 2005 and 2010 Philippine Cup Most Valuable Player James “King James” Yap.

Four top NBA D-League players will participate, including Richie Frahm of the Reno Bighorns, Chris McCray of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Darnell Lazare of the Maine Red Claws, and Mark Tyndale of the Iowa Energy.

The NBA D-League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league, whose 16 teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. Currently, 20 percent of players in the NBA have played in the NBA D-League including 2009-10 Most Improved Player Aaron Brooks of the Houston Rockets, Shannon Brown, a two-time NBA champion as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Chris Andersen of the Denver Nuggets. There were a record 40 GATORADE Call-Ups last season.

The Miami Heat Dancers, the most popular dance team in the NBA, will be onsite to perform and interact with fans to provide them with an authentic NBA in-game experience. Miami Heat mascot, Burnie, will interact with the crowd and perform high-flying dunks.

“We are thrilled to once again team up with the NBA to bring the NBA Asia Challenge back to the Philippines,” said Solar Entertainment COO Peter Chan. “The event will give Filipino basketball fans the unique opportunity to see a live exhibition game featuring NBA and PBA players competing on the same court.”

“Solar is a great partner who shares our commitment to bring basketball entertainment to Filipino fans, whether on television through Basketball TV and Solar TV, or at live events such as NBA Asia Challenge,” said Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NBA Asia Scott Levy. “We are excited that our passionate Filipino fans will get to see their PBA All-Stars compete against some of the best players to ever play in the NBA and potential future NBA stars from the D-League.”

The event’s Official Partners are Asia Miles and Toshiba. Coors Light and Gatorade will also be supporting the event.

NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, will conduct a variety of community events in conjunction with NBA Asia Challenge.

Last year’s NBA Asia Challenge featured six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a celebrity coach and an impressive roster of NBA Legends including Dominique Wilkins, Robert Horry, Tim Hardaway, and Vlade Divac.

Basketball is the number one sport in the Philippines and the NBA is committed to growing the sport throughout the country. Since 2000, the NBA has hosted several grassroots events in the country, including NBA 2Ball, NBA Madness, the league’s interactive basketball festival, and Jr. NBA, the leading youth basketball program, which teaches fundamentals and sportsmanship and promotes the importance of health and nutrition. During the 2009-10 NBA season, NBA programming aired on Basketball TV, Closed Circuit TV, C/S 9, ESPN and STAR Sports, reaching more than 10 million households in the country.

For more information about the NBA Asia Challenge, please log onto www.nba.com/philippines .