Kobe Bryant, the U.S. basketball superstar of the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to descend on the Philippine capital of Manila on September 5, local media reported Wednesday.
During his one-day visit, Kobe Bryant will take part in a new Nike shoe launch and share his skills with young Filipino basketball players, the Manila-based GMA TV said.
"Kobe Bryant serves as a basketball icon, inspiration and role-model to a lot of our young Filipino athletes and we are proud to bring him closer to his fans," said Melissa Crucillo, the country marketing manager of Nike Philippines.
After Manila visit, Kobe will fly to Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, as part of the Kobe Bryant's Supernatural Asia Tour 2007, the report said.
The Filipinos have an undying passion for basketball. Street ball games are played in nearly every district in the urban and rural areas alike. Some roads are dotted with so many make-shift courts that sometimes the traffic is blocked.
Local television also air basketball games on a more than regular basis that NBA superstars become no strangers to average Filipino.