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((Our very own nikkoewan has taken on the role of a International Correspondent. For those that haven’t been following build-up to the event in the Philippines, he provides some background. HTownHornets at Hornets Report found some video of the game (#4 is where play begins). We’ll be posting nikkoewan’s pictures and tweets soon, so keep coming back. Don’t be shy with the praise for nikkoewan taking his time to do this for all of us.))

As you may have known by now, Chris Paul and a group of stars in the NBA were invited to the Philippines to play some exhibition games by one of the wealthiest Filipinos in the country, Manuel Velez Pangilinan. Now you may ask, who is this guy? And how was he able to invite 4 NBA Superstars, 4 young potential All-Stars and the president of the NBPA union to go to a small SE Asian country that isn’t as developed as China?

The Man behind the Curtains

To understand how rich MVP (his initials) is know that he is the owner of 3 huge and very different firms: TV5 network, Cignal Digital TV and Smart Communications (one of the biggest companies in the Philippines). He is also the owner of TWO freaking teams in the Philippine Basketball Association and heads the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas(loosely translated as Basketball Group of the Philippines). MVP was even called upon by Chris Webber himself to hold a majority stake (along with a Filipino group of investors) in the Sacramento Kings. MVP likes this idea as it opens up the doors for not only Filipino basketball players to finally enter the NBA, but also Filipino coaches and Filipino personnel (*cough* *pls hire me* *cough*). He was a graduate of one of the top universities in the country (my alma mater, Ateneo de Manila University). He’s the main organizer of this event and the reason why I got to see CP3 in the flesh for the first time in my life. I can’t believe that I actually saw my basketball idol CP3 in the flesh. I would have loved a hug and a picture but alas, destiny is unrelenting.

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