Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at 7:30 AM EDT at Mall of Asia Arena (Manila, Philippines)

Preseason Game Preview: Pacers vs Rockets

Scott Agness | October 8, 2013

Matchup

The Pacers and Houston Rockets face off in the first NBA game ever held in the Philippines. Those back in the Hoosier State can catch the game live on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports Indiana. Thursday's game will be re-broadcast at 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The Pacers are one of 12 teams participating in the NBA Global Games, which will be broadcast in 215 countries and territories and covered by more than 1,138 media members. The Pacers last played overseas in 2009, with a pair of games in Taipei and Beijing. Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert are the only two current players that were with the team at that time.

There is plenty of excitement from the passionate fans in Manila to see the first game ever in the Philippines. The team, meanwhile, is excited to be participating and getting the opportunity to help promote the NBA and explore new countries.

Still, this is a business trip, and a time Pacers coach Frank Vogel will certainly use to get his team better and more prepared for the NBA season, which tips off on Oct. 29. After arriving early Sunday evening – Indiana time, Manila is 12 hours ahead – the team took Monday off and then had a hard practice on Tuesday.

Unlike the first preseason game, in which the Pacers fell at home to Chicago 82-76, Vogel plans to play various lineups and get the entire roster some minutes. Expect the core players to play around 20 minutes each.

The Rockets also lost their first preseason game, falling 116-115 to New Orleans on Saturday night. There’s a lot of optimism within their organization after Dwight Howard signed on during free agency. He narrowed his list to five teams – the Hawks, Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets and Warriors – and ultimately settled on the Houston, with a hard recruitment from forward Chandler Parsons. The Rockets now have a formidable trio of players in James Harden, Parsons and Howard, and are hoping to make a strong push for a title under coach Kevin McHale.

Last season, the Rockets went 45-37 and were ousted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games in the first round of the playoffs. They are one of the highest scoring teams in the league, making for an appealing counter to the Pacers' league-leading defense.

Probable Starters

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

David West

David West

Paul George

Paul George

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

George Hill

George Hill

Dwight Howard

Donatas Motiejunas

Chandler Parsons

James Harden

Jeremy Lin

Injury Update

Pacers: None
Rockets: Omer Asik (calf strain), Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis), Francisco Garcia (groin)

Quotable

“We’re going to play to win, but we’re definitely going to look at a number of different combinations and get some guys work that need to get work, so we won’t play normal regular-season rotation.” – Frank Vogel

“I love it. I just love that the NBA game is so global and the support here in the Philippines and in China where we were before, and Taipei, just globally. It’s a little bit overwhelming to me and it’s something that’s a little bit fascinating, something I really embrace. It’s just so good for our game the support that we have over here.” – Frank Vogel on playing in the Global Games

"So much passion. I tell them everywhere you look, you're going to see a basketball goal, you're going to see goals, you're going to see people dribbling. As we were coming to the hotel, we saw a lot of basketball courts and they were like, 'I guess you were right, Sloan.'" – Donald Sloan, who previously played in Manila, on what he told his teammates about the city

“It feels great to come out here and play in a different culture and be embraced. Everybody in the Philippines really loves the NBA and we want to go out there and put on a competitive show.” – Roy Hibbert

“A physical player… He brings a defensive presence and he’s very talented on the offensive end, despite what anybody says. He’s a hassle down there. I’m going to have my hands full and I can’t wait to go out there and compete.” – Roy Hibbert on Dwight Howard

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won their last three regular season meetings with Houston.
  • The Bulls have won five consecutive preseason meetings with the Pacers. The Pacers’ last win in the preseason series came in 2008 when the two played in Fort Wayne.
  • On the trip, the Pacers will travel about 16,670 miles by plane – second-most of the teams traveling overseas, behind only Houston (17,200).

Last Meeting

March 27: The Pacers met the Rockets twice last year, and they took both meetings, including a 100-91 win in Houston in late March. In the win, the Pacers held the highest-scoring team in the NBA 15 points below their average. Houston’s bench, however, did outscore Indiana’s 42-17. The Pacers led by 16 after one quarter of play and never trailed. The win started what turned out to be an excellent trip out West, as the Pacers returned home with four wins and zero losses.

Roy Hibbert had a monster game in Houston. He scored 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds. Lance Stephenson tallied 21 points and Paul George had 16. David West missed his sixth consecutive game due to a lower back sprain. James Harden led the Rockets with 22 points and eight assists.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana (DirecTV 673 and Dish 440) – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)

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