WATCH: New Zealand team performs Haka dance before Gilas match

MANILA, Philippines - New Zealand's Wellington Saints know how to make the MVP Cup seem like the World Cup.

As the team faced off with Gilas Pilipinas at centercourt, the Saints broke into the Haka war cry dance, firing up the crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, September 12. Gilas stood respectfully as the Saints performed their dance, but Calvin Abueva broke out a smile during the show.

The Wellington Saints doing New Zealand's traditional haka - an ancestral war cry, dance. Part 1 @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/oaJgcTAj0h — Jane Bracher (@janebracher) September 12, 2015

The Wellington Saints doing New Zealand's traditional haka - an ancestral war cry, dance. Part 2 @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/kjcpAGkwV9 — Jane Bracher (@janebracher) September 12, 2015

The dance, which has been popularized by New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team for generations, is not done solely for intimidation purposes, but also to greet a host country or visiting teams. New Zealand performed the Haka dance at last year's FIBA World Cup against USA.

Gilas Pilipinas watches as the Wellington Saints perform the Haka. Photo by Czaesar Dancel/Rappler

Gilas Pilipinas watches as the Wellington Saints perform the Haka.

Photo by Czaesar Dancel/Rappler