Basketball: Laker Girls, NBA players light up interactive fan session

BASKETBALL aficionados were handed a reprieve from the haze as the National Basketball Association (NBA) held an interactive fans session at the Orchard Hotel on Saturday.

New Orleans Pelicans centre Robin Lopez and Memphis Grizzlies guard Quincy Pondexter joined the world-famous Los Angeles Lakers cheerleaders in mingling with the 1,000-strong crowd.

The American personalities were in town for the NBA 3X three-on-three basketball tournament, which was to be held at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza but was cancelled owing to the haze situation.

Still, there was plenty of action at the four-hour session as the Laker Girls performed their silky dance routines, while Lopez and Pondexter posed for pictures and signed autographs for adoring fans.

Said Lopez, who averaged 11 points and five rebounds last season: "I'm surprised by how popular basketball is in Singapore. The fans are knowledgeable about the game. It's a true testament that the NBA is growing all across the world."