Thrilla in Manila 2: NBA Smart All Stars.

Who knew the NBA lock-out would be a blessing in disguise for all Filipinos?

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This weekend, big names such as Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Derek Fisher (Los Angeles Lakers), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Javale McGee (Washington Wizards), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings), Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves), James Harden (Oklahoma Thunder), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma Thunder) and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) arrived in Philippine shores to play in a 2-game extravaganza at the Araneta Coliseum. The event was so electrifying that it was dubbed 'Thrilla in Manila 2'!

Thrilla in Manila was the fight of the century, the third and final famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World at the Araneta Coliseum on 1 October 1975.

Tickets to this NBA All Star event ranged from P350 ($10) to P5,700 ($150). But for some reason, the good tickets disappeared and became available only at the hands of scalpers who sold the P5,700 ($150) seats for as high as P25,000 ($650)! Wow.

So blessed to have good seats.. Thank you for letting me tag along T!

On the day itself, it was really crazy outside. Everyone wanted to get in, everyone wanted to buy a ticket, everyone wanted to see the NBA idols. But because there weren't enough tickets for everyone (even for the topmost area) and people were cutting in line, the crowd outside turned into a mob!

The Araneta Coliseum was packed!

With something as epic as this, the best way to tell the story is through photos. So here are some of the photos I took during the game. T has good videos of the game, too, thanks to his Flip. I'll try to post them next time because it'll take a while to upload all of the videos.

Excuse the watermarks. I usually place them in some inconspicuous place in photos but I don't have the time to do it tonight. Tired from an action filled weekend! :)

McGee was the first one to warm up.

Everybody was chanting "MVP! MVP!" when Derrick Rose arrived.
Spot Kevin Durant still wearing his backpack while warming up.

After warming up, the NBA players went back to the lockers. The lights were dimmed and they were introduced one by one. The crowd cheered for each player.

Last to be introduced was Kobe Bryant.. The crowd went wild!

Kobe Bryant greeting the Filipinos again. He was just here a few weeks ago for another event.

Kris Lawrence singing the Star Spangled Banner.

The New Born Divas singing the Philippine National Anthem.

Chris Paul eyeing the beauty queens. Haha!

Manny Pangilinan and Jorge Araneta, thank you for bringing the NBA stars to the Philippines!

The game is about to start.

Manny Pangilinan about to throw the ball.

Sonny Thoss and Javale McGee jumping for the ball.

First dunk by Kobe Bryant.. The crowd loved it!

Javale McGee for 2!

Free throw.

The 1st quarter ended with the NBA team leading only by 4 points.

But by the end of the 2nd quarter, the NBA team was leading by 16 points!

Half time was spent with a 3 point shoot out between 2 players from the NBA vs 2 players from the Philippine team.

James Harden was the first to shoot for the NBA.

Chris Paul was up next.

3rd quarter action.

Setting up for a dunk.

And boom!

The day before the game, Javale McGee tweeted:

If I dunk on somebody today I'm gonna _________!!!! Fill in the blank!!-P

And he did! After dunking, he want planking! :))

James Harden setting himself up to dunk.

Here we go..


More dunking action.

NBA-Smart team won (obviously)!

This weekend was a surreal experience. Seeing all of the players on the court live and up close was indescribable. And to think, I'm not even a die-hard NBA fan. I can't begin to imagine what the boys must feel. Probably been heaven for them! :)

I have a feeling everyone's going to hate this coming Monday so much after an action-packed weekend. How about you? How did you spend your weekend?


  1. Am I the only one not swept up in this basketball craze? o.O Haha. Seriously. But I am happy for those of you who got to watch your idols up close and personal. I think a coupla friends were there watching too. =)

  2. WOOOW!!!! Awesome photos joei! :) we were in the nosebleed seats, upper A but it was still so much fun!!! KOBEEEEE :)

  3. BLACKSHIRT. It helps when you have a boyfriend/father/uncle/brother who's totally into the NBA :))

    PATTY. I think everyone had so much fun even those just watching on TV. It was surreal!!!!

    About the photos.. I want a new camera. Hahaha! I have lots of photos but the action ones are blurry. Boo :(

  4. OMG Why didn't I know this? Hahaha I obviously don't watch the news. :))

    Coffee With Kim

  5. Kung nandyan ako, siguro nahimatay ako kay Kobe! I am so jealous! :p

  6. This sounds like a fantastic event! So happy you got to go and had good seats! As for me, my weekend as the opposite of yours, I'd say - quiet and relaxing.

  7. So lucky of you! I just watched this on TV; very funny game, entertaining. :-)

  8. YOu're so lucky! I didn't even know about this until it was over :(

    The Twerp and I

  9. JOIE!!!!! :) I went Sunday!!!! You went Saturday no??? will blog about my experience too! haha! :)

    Haha! saw in the news that McGee planked nga!! :) SUPER FUN, yea?? ;) It would be nice to meet you sana there!! :) I tagged along din lang. I tagged along when Kobe alone had a show also :) Not a basketball fan myself too. But it was a really fun, incredible experience. :) I didn't have a cam that day, though. So no photos! hee.

    Love your blog post as always! :))

  10. You look absolutely gorgeous, Joei! I'm so glad that you had a good time! :)

  11. I love the variety of topics you have on this blog. Thank you for visiting my blog. Just followed you. :)


  12. So fun! Great that you got to see such amazing players! My boyfriend is a huge Basketball fan and we've been to several NBA games and it's always a treat!

  13. You changed your URL! I have a friend who was literally begging online for tickets. Was willing to pay even high-priced ones, but they were sold out already!

  14. i'm not into sports so i can't relate. new follower from GT.

  15. Joei, how are you? Saw on the news what happened in Manilla :( Hope you and yours are all okay!

  16. i should really get on the news more ! lol.. i didnt know anything abt this !

    www.glisters and

  17. you're one of the few lucky people who were able to get tickets. too bad for me i only watched it sa tv. Nevertheless, awesome game!

  18. What an awesome event!! It looks like you had a great time. You look so pretty here too. :)

  19. That's so rad haha! :D Good thing you got good seats and the pictures are fantastic. <3

    So true! That game must have been such a rush to watch.

    Btw if you can, follow my twitter! (Viva_La_Breee)

    xoxo, Bree


Thank you for the love!

I enjoy meeting fellow bloggers and readers from all over so feel free to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can :)

♥ joei