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NBA, Smart Communications relaunch league website with local fans in mind

THE National Basketball Association (NBA) and Smart Communications last week relaunched the league’s website here aimed at providing content that suits local fans’ taste.

In a virtual press conference on Thursday, officials of NBA Asia and Smart shared their excitement in furthering their existing partnership through NBA.com/Philippines.

They said their ramped-up linkup is built on the groups’ common thrust to bring the league to more Filipino fans in a manner they can appreciate better.

“We greatly appreciate the interest and support we get from Smart. Our business is dependent on global companies that are innovative and driven to provide the best experience to our consumers. And Smart has a long history of this, delivering this level of quality,” said Scott Levy, NBA Asia managing director, during the press conference.

“NBA.com/Philippines will be a one-stop destination for NBA fans, everything about the league. We are thrilled to extend our cooperation with Smart and we are excited to discuss even more ways that we can work together,” he added.

The relaunched NBA website will offer Filipino fans access to game highlights, stats, standings, scores, schedules and more.

But to make it more “localized,” it will feature a roster of sports reporters and basketball personalities here, who will give their recaps and analyses of games.

The people behind the website said among the personalities set to join their team are former Philippine Basketball Association and national team player Jimmy Alapag and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas project director and Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin.

They also said a number of PBA players and coaches have expressed interest to share their thoughts on the website.

A weekly podcast titled “NBA Hype Squad” is also being worked out. It will feature discussions hosted by local influencers about the latest league news. 

These are in addition to the already existing offering of the NBA and Smart, which includes access to NBA League Pass for Smart subscribers and NBA.Smart, which livestreams NBA TV Philippines, a localized version of the NBA’s dedicated 24/7 channel.

The redesigned website is also now part of Smart’s promotions, where the network provides its prepaid and postpaid subscribers access to editorial content on NBA.com/Philippines without incurring data charges.

“This is a huge milestone not only for Smart, but also for Filipino fans who now have a dedicated new platform to follow their idols, stay up-to-date on games, and engage with fans who share the same passion for hardcourt action,” said Smart President and CEO Alfredo Panlilio of their latest partnership with the NBA.

“We want to address the passion of NBA and basketball fans here.”

NBA ALL-STAR GAME
Meanwhile, in league news, the NBA All-Star Game took further form last week with the starters and coaches revealed.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant will lead the competing teams in the Midseason Classic set for March 8 (Manila time) at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Mr. James will be joined in his team by Luka Dončić (Dallas), Stephen Curry (Golden State), Nikola Jokić (Denver), and Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers).

Team Durant, meanwhile, has Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn), Bradley Beal (Washington), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia).

Coaches are Quin Snyder (Utah) for Team James and Doc Rivers (Philadelphia) for Team Durant.

The 2021 NBA All-Star Draft will be held on March 5. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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