The New York Knicks paid tribute to the Filipinos at the Madison Square Garden as the team celebrated Filipino Heritage Night during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, Nov. 8 (Manila Time).
The Knicks allotted a blocked section for Filipino-Americans as well as discounted ticket packages that included an exclusive Filipino-NYK inspired hats.
Last month, Filipino-American players Jordan Clarkson of Utah Jazz and rookie Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets made history together as the first NBA players of Filipino descent to share the court together during the Heritage Night at the Toyota Center at Houston.
The Filipinos are close to the heart of the Knicks organization, with New York-based fans throwing their support for the squad and the team’s physical therapist and wellness lead, Erwin Benedict Valencia, known as the first Filipino to make it to the medical staff of an NBA team.
The Knicks, however, lost to the Cavaliers, 126-109, behind a career night from Ricky Rubio who unloaded 37 points. Julius Randle finished with 19 points for the Knicks.
It was not the first time that the Knicks hosted the Filipino Heritage night in New York where approximately 236,000 Filipinos reside. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray graced the event in 2019.
Last week, another Filipino in former Gilas Pilipinas captain Jimmy Alapag also started his NBA career as part of the coaching staff of the G-League team and Sacramento Kings affiliate, Stockton Kings.