BLACKWATER, NLEX, and the visiting Bay Area Dragons warm up for the coming PBA Commissioner's Cup as they separately take on multi-titled French team LDLC Asvel in a five-day exhibition event at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Dubbed '75 League Basketball Exhibition,' the mini-tournament is part of the 75-year celebration of the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and France.
LDLC Asvel, the most successful French basketball club owned by NBA great Tony Parker, will be coming over to play tune-up games against the two PBA teams and the Manila-based Dragons starting on August 31 to September 4.
The French team will be bannered by former NBA players Nando De Colo and Joffrey Lauvergne and is coached by Parker's brother TJ.
De Colo, 35, played with the French national team that ruled the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in the county.
The Dragons, powered by 7-foot-5 giant Liu Chuanxing, Hong Kong player Duncan Reid, and imports Myles Powell and Andrew Nicholson, are the first ones to test Asvel's mettle when the two foreign teams clash on August 31.
Two days after, the Road Warriors take their turn against the French, before the Bossing parade 6-foot-9 import Cameron Krutwig when they face Asvel on Sept.4.
Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, and Bay Area Dragons team manager Quansheng Liu attended the formal launching of the event at the Novotel Manila in the presence of France ambassador to Manila Michele Boccoz.
Also present were Blackwater team governor Siliman Sy, PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro, Bossing coach Ariel Vanguardia and players Brandon Rosser and Ato Ular, and NLEX veterans Larry Fonacier and Asi Taulava.
Liu and Powell were also around during the event. (RG)