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    When NBA Café Manila had its official opening last April 25, Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward just had to exclaim, “Wow! This country is amazing,” as he and WNBA Legend Tina Thompson were overwhelmed with the warm reception.

    “[NBA Cafe] follows in the footsteps of NBA City at the Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Florida,” explains Rigor. The said attraction features a coffee shop, NBA merchandise shop, and an interactive area where guests can test their shooting and dribbling skills. At NBA Café Manila, “The concept was to sell an experience that’s as if you’re watching a real [NBA] game,” says Rigor. 

    NBA Café Manila offers American comfort food on their menu, like hot dogs that come with fries or beer-battered onion rings, soups, sandwiches, grilled specialties, burgers, and pizza. There’s even a kids’ menu with favorites like the spaghetti and meatballs and the macaroni and cheese, and some of these dishes have been localized in order to suit the local palate. Drinks range from milkshakes, soda floats, cocktails and beers. For dessert, there are pies, ice cream, cakes and other baked goodies. The price per dish ranges from P150 to P1,120. 

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    NBA Cafe Manila

    During the recent NBA finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, NBA Café Manila opened earlier than usual to accommodate fans who wanted to watch the games live with friends, co-workers, and family. Says Rigor, “It’s quite an experience. Fans even come in their jerseys.”

    Rigor, who took action photos of the fans during the games, shared these with NBA officials in the U.S. “They were amazed,” she says “[They knew] what time it [was] here. These people missed work [to watch the game]!’”

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    For everyone; not just for the fansNBA Café Manila is fast becoming a popular venue for corporate events and even birthday parties, what with the establishment’s well-incorporated basketball theme. Areas of the café can be sectioned off, or the whole area can be reserved for such functions. 

    Surprisingly too, it’s not just men / basketball fans who frequent the NBA Café Manila. “Families, kids, they like the ambience,” shares Rigor. “People keep coming in. The numbers are getting better.”

    Next page: Heroes Cafe

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