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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 2, 2018
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Durant in Manila next week


Two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant will be heading back to the Philippines next Sunday, July 8.

The basketball superstar has already been to the country once for the Smart Ultimate All Star Weekend in 2011 but this will be his first visit to Manila under Nike.

“We are thrilled to have Kevin Durant with us this time around for the first time ever in Manila. Fresh off a recent amazing season, this is an opportune moment to welcome and celebrate his journey of hard work and perseverance, which brings him to where he is today, with all aspiring Filipino ballers,” said Jino Ferrer, Nike Philippines' marketing manager.

His Philippine tour will begin with a meet-and-greet session with fans at the Nike Park store in Taguig at 12:30 p.m.

Durant himself will also grace the official launch of the Nike KD 11 Just KD colorway.

“We hope he will also be able to feel and experience the enthusiasm of the Filipinos’ puso, where basketball lies at the heart of the nation,” Ferrer added.

He will then give insights to the participants of the KD Nike Hyper Court All-Star Challenge at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Baser Amer is set to make his Gilas Elite debut, while Carl Cruz makes a national team return tonight, when the team battles Australia in Matchday 6 of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Amer and Cruz will replace Jio Jalalon and Allein Maliksi, who played against Chinese Taipei on Friday night.

Staying for Gilas Pilipinas are Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Junemar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, and Matt Wright.

Following Australia's shock 78-79 loss against Japan on Friday night despite activating NBA players Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker, the showdown between Australia and Gilas will now be for the top spot in Group B ahead of the second round of the qualifiers.*PNA


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