US basketball

IN NUMBERS: NBA celebrates landmark season in Philippines

IN NUMBERS: NBA celebrates landmark season in Philippines

BLOCKBUSTER. Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks and Chris Paul's Phoenix Suns figure in a historic title showdown.

oe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The 2021 NBA Finals reached 8.4 million unique viewers per game in the Philippines, the most of any measured country outside of the US

The NBA had another landmark season in the Philippines, experiencing continued growth across broadcast viewership, social media consumption and more during the 2020-2021 NBA season.  

The significant growth in engagement comes ahead of the league’s 75th anniversary season in 2021-2022, which will be commemorated as “NBA 75” and feature the unveiling of the 75 greatest players in league history.

“Filipinos are among the most dedicated NBA fans in the world, and their continued engagement across TV, social media and retail has contributed to the league’s incredible growth in the Philippines,” said NBA Asia managing director Scott Levy.  

“As we embark on our 75th anniversary season, we look forward to working with our partners to build on this momentum by providing fans in the Philippines with new and exciting ways to experience the NBA through digital innovations and customized content.”

Here are the highlights from the 2020-2021 NBA season in the Philippines:

TV viewership

The NBA Christmas Day game on TV5 featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks drew the largest average audience across all measured international markets carrying 2020 Christmas Day games, more than tripling the previous year’s NBA Christmas Day average audience in the Philippines.


The 2020-2021 season’s most-watched game on TV5 was Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns, which registered an average audience of 4.6 million viewers and saw the Bucks win their first championship in 50 years.

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The 2021 NBA Finals reached 8.4 million unique viewers per game in the Philippines, the most of any measured country outside of the US.


The average audience for live playoff games was up 21% year-over-year across TV5 and One Sports.

NBA League Pass

Through July 2021, the Philippines ranked No. 2 in NBA League Pass subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region.


On NBA League Pass, Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs between the Lakers and the Suns, and Game 6 of the Finals featuring the Bucks and the Suns, recorded the most and second-most unique viewers in the Philippines this season, respectively.

Players and coaches

Jr. NBA Global Championship 2019 participant Camille Nolasco was selected to be part of the NBA Academy Women’s Virtual Program – an eight-week basketball and leadership development program for more than 40 of the top female, high-school age (14-17 years old) prospects from outside the U.S. 


Jalen Green, whose mother is from Ilocos Sur and is of Filipino descent through his maternal grandfather, was selected second overall by the Rockets in the 2021 NBA Draft, becoming the highest-drafted player with ties to the Philippines.  

With 1.6 million followers on Instagram, Green ranks among the top 60 most-followed players in the league.

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For the second time, Jimmy Alapag worked for the Sacramento Kings as an assistant coach during the 2021 MGM Resorts NBA Summer League, which culminated with the Kings defeating the Boston Celtics in the championship game to earn their second Summer League title.  

On August 24, the Stockton Kings, the NBA G League Affiliate of the Kings, announced Alapag as an assistant coach for the 2021-2022 season.

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Jordan Clarkson, whose mother and maternal grandmother are from Pampanga, became the first player in Utah Jazz history to win the Kia NBA Sixth Man Award.

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Eight Jr. NBA Philippines participants are listed on rosters in professional leagues across Australia (Kai Sotto), Japan (Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, and Thirdy Ravena), and the Philippines (Regile Kent Ilagan, Aljon Mariano, Aljun Melecio and Kib Montalbo).

Social media

The NBA’s YouTube Channel featured three locally-produced shows geo-targeted to fans in the Philippines, which generated 4.4 million views. 

The shows, which were posted weekly throughout the playoffs, included: NBA On Fire, a localized NBA recap show featuring postseason storylines, player milestones and team updates; Republika Drip, a series showcasing basketball culture, fashion and lifestyle; and Republika Huddle, a series hosting local influencers and sports personalities via Zoom discussing the latest NBA news and events. 


Through August 2021, Republika Huddle has released 28 episodes across the NBA Philippines Facebook and NBA YouTube channels, collectively generating more than 13 million views and an estimated one million engagements.  

This season, Republika Huddle hosted eight current and former NBA players, including Ray Allen, Jordan Clarkson, Matthew Dellavedova, Jalen Green, Shawn Kemp, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, and Brian Shaw.

4.9 million

Followers of the NBA Philippines Facebook page increased 18% year-over-year, making it the largest regional NBA Facebook page with more than 4.9 million fans.

24 million

Through August 2021, the NBA’s  FacebookInstagram, and TikTok accounts have an estimated 24 million combined followers from the Philippines, the most of any country outside of the US.

37 million

Through July 2021, viewers from the Philippines watched more than 37 million hours of content on the NBA’s YouTube channel, which represents approximately one-third of the total channel viewership during the season, the most of any country outside of the US.

Partners and events

Jr. NBA Philippines hosted two free virtual basketball clinics for boys and girls ages 13-17 across the country on May 29 and June 12, which were attended by current and former NBA and WNBA players including Clarkson, Green and Ticha Penicheiro.


The NBA and vivo, the official smartphone of the NBA in the Philippines, co-produced the documentary Ball in the New Normal about four individuals with basketball-related interests and professions and the return of basketball during the pandemic, which was recognized in May 2021 with the Gold Stevie Award in three categories: Innovation in Branded Entertainment Videos, Documentaries, and Lifestyle Videos.


The NBA hosted five virtual meet-and-greet sessions with local partners AXA, Gatorade, Cignal and Smart to provide their employees and select Cignal partners with an exclusive opportunity to interact with current and former NBA players including Cole Anthony, Chris Bosh, Clyde Drexler, Robert Horry, and Payton.


From July to August 2021, the NBA Philippines Facebook page published nine episodes of a partner video series by AXA, the official insurance partner of the NBA in the Philippines, and vivo.  

AXA’s five-episode series featured health and wellness tips from former Philippines professional player and coach Jimmy Alapag and Washington Wizards assistant coach Ryan Richman, while vivo’s What Makes Me Ball series featured four one-minute films profiling the Houston Rockets’ Green and local players Camille ClarinShaun Ildefonso, and Kiefer Ravena.


The NBA has 18 marketing partners in the Philippines that help grow the game, including adidas, AXA, EA Sports, Energen Champion, Gatorade, Moet-Hennessy, Nike, Take-Two, Tissot, Under Armour, vivo, and Wilson. 


On July 31, 20 boys and girls from the Philippines participated in the Jr. NBA Global Championship – Online Asia-Pacific and India Camp, a one-day virtual basketball event for 39 boys and 39 girls from across Asia-Pacific and India.


The NBA Pick’Em Playoffs Bracket Challenge presented by vivo – a fantasy basketball game that allows participants to predict the winners from each NBA playoffs series and their corresponding series scores – generated a record 12,022 entries, the most entries submitted from the Philippines since its launch in 2018.

1, the official online NBA Store in the Philippines, celebrated its first anniversary on August 6 and launched the second NBA Philippines Tees Collection, featuring two designs inspired by the Philippine flag and Filipinos’ passion for the game of basketball.


Through July 2021, has delivered product orders to 215 of 228 cities and provinces in the Philippines.


For the latest NBA news and updates, fans in the Philippines can visit and follow the NBA on Facebook and Twitter.