Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pippen, Rodman bring color, stuff of legends

MANILA, Philippines - NBA greats Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen strut their stuff before local fans tonight as they take on the local legends in the PLDT All Star Basketball Challenge at the Mall of Asia Arena. The duo, along with fellow former NBA stars Horace Grant, Mitch Richmond, and Jason Williams, expressed excitement over playing before Filipino fans and vowed to put up a show in their one-game exhibition set at 7 p.m. “We feel great, excited to be here. We know we have a lot of great, knowledgeable fans here and we hope to put on a great show for them,” said Pippen, the former Chicago star who played alongside the great Michael Jordan in the Bulls’ title romps in the NBA in the 90s. “We’ll show them we’re not over the hill yet, we’ll give it a good show,” said Rodman, who sort of expected his estranged father, Philander, who is based in the country, to show up like he did the first time the rebounding demon visited Phl. Leading the Pinoys against the Oscar Robertson-coached US legends are Jojo Lastimosa, Jerry Codiñera, Kenneth Duremdes, Noli Locsin, Vince Hizon, Bong Hawkins, Marlou Aquino, EJ Feihl and Nelson Asaytono. Former NBA stars Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen arrive at the NAIA yesterday. They will join other ex-NBA players in the PLDT All-Star Challenge at the Mall of Asia Arena tonight. Story on Page 17. The ex-NBA greats came straight from the airport to attend yesterday’s presscon at MOA where Pippen, the six-time NBA champ and Hall of Famer, was also asked about his opinion on the supposed comparison between the original 1992 Dream Team and the 2012 US Olympic squad. He said Kobe Bryant and his teammates should first accomplish the task at hand – win the gold in London – before they can start the debate as to which is the better one. “That’s Kobe’s opinion, he has the right to express his opinion for the team and build their confidence up,” said Pippen, referring to Bryant’s remarks that the current US team could beat Pippen’s peers in the Barcelona Games that included fellow Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. “But that’s something we’ll never know the answer to, which is the best thing. If they bring home the gold, then we can start the debate,” he said. The American Legends played ABL team Westports Malaysia Dragons in Kuala Lumpur the other night, romping away with a 96-81 triumph behind a big second half charge. The Dragons were reinforced by Rob Wainwright of the AirAsia Phl Patriots, Mario Wuysang of holders Indonesia Warriors and Destmond Oh of Singapore Slingers, among others. Williams led the scoring parade with 16 points while Scottie Pippen added by 12 markers. - By Olmin Leyba