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Kobe returns on Aug. 12

If the visit of Lebron James isn’t enough to whet the appetite of Filipino basketball fans, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant is scheduled to return to Manila on Aug. 12 as part of trip to promote a fledgling mobile brand.

KOBE BryantLenovo, a laptop and phone brand, arranged the upcoming cameo of the Los Angeles Lakers superstar who is set to visit the country for the fifth time. The company made the announcement on its Facebook page but no further details were given.

Sources said that the trip was finalized by Bryant and Lenovo Philippines around late-April but was revealed to the public on Tuesday night.

The announcement came as free tickets were distributed yesterday at the Nike Park in Bonifacio Global City for James’ much-awaited appearance on July 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

In 1998, the visit of Bryant was welcomed with huge enthusiasm after Adidas, the shoe company he then endorsed, came for the first time where he took part in various activities and even wowed the Araneta Coliseum watching a PBA finals game with a series of dunks.

He made three more appearances in 2007, 2009 and 2011 as part of an Asia tour organized by Nike, the shoe he currently endorses.

Bryant actually visited twice in 2011, the second was when he took part alongside NBA All-Stars Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose in a memorable two-game exhibition series with the PBA All-Stars and Smart Gilas in front of sellout crowds at the Big Dome.

Bryant has appeared in a Lenovo commercial that began airing earlier this year where he spoke in the brand’s Filipino motto “walang iwanan.”