First NBA Cafe in Asia to open in Manila
MANILA, Philippines -- Aside from the first-ever preseason game in the country, another NBA first is coming to Manila this year.
The National Basketball Association and Hoopla Inc. announced Monday, May 6, that the maiden NBA Café in Asia will be coming to Manila, Philippines, at the soon-to-open SM AURA Mall in the Bonifacio Global City.
Scheduled to open in September 2013, the NBA Café will feature a unique dining and entertainment experience that captures the excitement of the league through memorabilia displays, NBA highlights and programming, an NBA retail area, and will host viewing parties and appearances by NBA talent.
At the NBA Café, fans will enjoy quintessentially American bar and grill favorites and a selection of Asian-Filipino classics, giving it a local twist. It is the first sports bar and restaurant in Manila catering specifically to basketball fanatics and enthusiasts, in a nation where 40 million people play or have played the game.
This is the second league-owned restaurant set to open outside the U.S.; an NBA Café also is planned for Madrid in 2013. NBA City, the league’s first themed restaurant, opened in 1999 at the Universal Studios Resort in Orlando.
A taste of authentic NBA experience
“The NBA Café will be a unique destination that will bring NBA basketball closer to our fans in the Philippines,” said Carlo Singson, NBA Country Manager, Philippines. “Given their vast knowledge in the food and entertainment industry, Hoopla is an ideal partner to bring the NBA Café to life and to provide fans another authentic NBA experience.”
NBA Legend Muggsy Bogues, who was in Manila for the finale of the four-month long Jr. NBA program, made a special stop at the site, conducting a hard hat inspection with NBA executives to monitor the progress of the NBA Café.
“This is my first time in the Philippines and I’m overwhelmed by the passion the people have for basketball here,” said Bogues, who at 5-3 is the shortest player ever to play in the NBA. “More than a restaurant, the NBA Café will be a destination where fans here can watch games in an entertaining atmosphere that captures the history and excitement of the NBA.” - Rappler.com