Over the past decade, the NBA has opened up its schedule to include several games overseas. Aside from the occasional regular season game in London, most of these games are preseason contests with no real effect on the schedule. They’re largely marketing opportunities, an effort to expand the league’s global reach in countries with burgeoning basketball cultures. For the most part, the goal is growth.
The Philippines has not yet played host to one of these games, which is a shame. Unlike some of these countries, basketball is their most popular sport by a wide margin. As discussed by Rafe Bartholomew in his book “Pacific Rims,” basketball pervades every aspect of Filipino culture, from politics to income inequality to community life.