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Dwight Howard greeted with Lakers' backlash in Philippines

October 10, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Rockets center Dwight Howard waves to fans as he arrvies at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines on Monday.
Rockets center Dwight Howard waves to fans as he arrvies at Ninoy Aquino… (Bullit Marquez / Associated…)

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have fans all over the world, including the Philippines.

Dwight Howard, playing an exhibition game Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, received  scattered boos and "Kobe" chants as the Houston Rockets faced the Indiana Pacers, according to InterAKTV.

The Rockets won handily, 116-96, but Howard struggled with nine points, five fouls and four turnovers in about 24 minutes.

Howard was applauded on his lone free throw make in four tries.

After one season with the Lakers, Howard left for the Rockets in free agency.  While injuries were a major factor in the Lakers' 45-win season and four-game sweep by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, Howard's lack of commitment beyond the season made him an uncomfortable fit with the team.

The Lakers' reach is far and wide.  Bryant has long been a popular sports figure in the Philippines -- perhaps more so recently after his visit to the country in mid-August.

The taste Howard received in the Philippines will undoubtedly be nothing compared to his reception at Staples Center when the Rockets visit Feb. 19.

The Lakers will head to China later this week, playing exhibitions next week against the Golden State Warriors in Beijing and Shanghai.

Recovering from an Achilles' tear, Bryant won't be ready to play during the preseason and is doubtful for opening night Oct. 29 at home against the Clippers.


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Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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