NBA Superstar James Harden travelled to Manila for adidas’ Free To Harden Asia Tour, marking his fifth time visiting fans in the Philippines.

The Houston Rockets star previously made four trips to the basketball-crazed nation, the first being in 2011 for a pair exhibition games against an all-star PBA selection and the Philippine National Team.

Harden came back for an appearance during the NBA 3X Philippines tournament, and then played in the Manila leg of the NBA Global Games between the Rockets and the Indiana Pacers, both during the 2013 offseason. He also made another visit in 2014 for a charity event.

Fresh from his three-day blitz of Chinese cities Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, Harden immediately kicked off the Manila  leg of the tour yesterday by visiting the University of the Philippines, where adidas is refurbishing the College of Human Kinetics basketball court.

Throughout the visit, 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player wore different models of his adidas signature kicks, as well as many of the Filipino fans who came out to see him.

On the day of the main event, the 2018 NBA Most Valuable player also swung by the adidas flagship store in Two Parkade, Bonifacio Global City earlier in the day to meet lucky fans who were chosen among hundreds of entries for having the best recreation of his signature stepback move.

After a much delayed media conference in the evening, ‘The Beard’ finally made a grand entrance and was greeted by the throngs of cheering fans in the main hall of the SMX Convention Center, where he participated in side events and fun games with both fans and budding collegiate athletes.

Fans who want to continue celebrating every milestone made in the Harden Vol. 3 can purchase the latest colorway of this signature shoe from adidas stores or Titan 22 for P7000.

“I love low cut shoes,” shared Harden about the very popular  Vol. 3’s. “But my B/E’s are pretty high and light as well, so they really support me. I gotta be able to move on the court and do my moves and feel comfortable doing them.”

Aside from the main signature line, the seven-time NBA All-Star also have multiple colorways of the no-nonsense Harden B/E X (P6000) and the Harden B/E 3 (P5500) models currently available both in stores and online.

adidas Harden Vol. 3 ‘Core Black/Yellow/Solar Red'
adidas Harden Vol. 3 ‘Core Black/Yellow/Solar Red’

The event culminated with a ‘rapid fire’ interview where the global hoops superstar answered questions in quick succession, with the final question asked by the hosts was, “I am James Harden, and I am..?”

“MVP,” Harden replied, drawing loud cheers from the thousands in attendance, many of whom insist that he is still equally deserving if not more than the newly-minted awardee Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

With this trip in the books, can Filipino fans expect another visit from the one of the best players in the game in the foreseeable future?

“It’s great being back in the Philippines, and I’m thankful to adidas and my fans for the warm welcome. I’m already looking forward to my next trip back here,” assured Harden, who is scheduled to fly back home today.

Follow us on Twitter at @aseansports1.