Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game OneThe Oklahoma City Thunder will meet the Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester in a pre-season NBA friendly on October 8.

It forms one of a series of exhibitions this autumn throughout Europe involving the two teams.

Fenerbahce will host Oklahoma City on Thursday October 5, exactly one year since the Turks took a 97-91 victory over the Boston Celtics.

“Having hosted the Boston Celtics in a sold-out arena and a joyous environment last autumn, we are very happy and excited to host another NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on October 5, 2013 in Europe’s most beautiful arena,” Kemal Dincer, Fenerbahce’s general coordinator, said. “We are going to do whatever is necessary for this to be the entertainment event of the year.”

One night later, Bilbao will play host to the 76ers. Bilbao was a play-off participant in the 2011-12 Euroleague season, its first in the top continental competition, and had been a semi-finalist in each of the two previous Eurocup seasons.

“We are very happy to increase our existing collaboration with the NBA by playing a friendly game against an NBA team,” Predrag Savovic, Bilbao’s president, said. “This kind of initiative reinforces the high level reached by Uxue Bilbao and it is also very important for Bilbao to be the host city for such an interesting game, like Milano, Istanbul, Madrid, Berlin, Barcelona and other European capitals in previous editions. We are confident that this game will be a great showcase to show the touristic interest of Bilbao on a global basis.”

The two dates for 2013 continue an ongoing collaboration between Euroleague Basketball and NBA teams that has seen their teams play a total of 48 pre-season exhibition games on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean over the last seven years.

“These games continue the NBA’s decades-long tradition of bringing the live NBA experience to our fans in Europe and is a testament to our commitment to grow the game on the continent,” Benjamin Morel, Senior Vice President, NBA Europe, said. “With the collaboration of Euroleague Basketball and the support of BBVA and all of our partners, we look forward to bringing the excitement of our game to fans in Europe.”

Elsewhere, the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets will begin their pre-season slate with a game in Manila, Philippines on October 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.  The game will mark the first time an NBA team has travelled to the Philippines since the then-Washington Bullets played against a Philippine Basketball Association All-Star team in 1979.   The Pacers and Rockets will then travel to Taipei for a game on October 13 at the Taipei Arena, marking the second NBA game played in Taiwan.

The Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards face each other on October 12 in the first-ever NBA game in Brazil at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.  The game will be a homecoming for the Wizard’s Brazilian native Nenê.

The NBA global games will conclude with two games in China between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.  The teams will play on October 15 at the MasterCard Center in Beijing, then travel to Shanghai for a game at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on October 18.

“Providing fans with an authentic NBA experience is an important part of our efforts to grow the game globally,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern.

“This (autumn), nearly a third of our teams will embark on a global tour that will celebrate the game of basketball, give our international fans a chance to connect with NBA teams and players, and leave a lasting impact in each of the communities we visit.”

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