MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Linsanity is gripping the Philippines.
Jeremy Lin, the NBA's first American-born player of Taiwanese descent, stole the spotlight Tuesday as the Houston Rockets practiced for the first NBA preseason game in the basketball-obsessed country.
Lin was mobbed by reporters and photographers on a Manila basketball court, a day after the Rockets and Indiana Pacers arrived in the capital for Thursday's game.
Lin said he was thankful for a chance "to inspire people, especially my fellow Asians."
"I'm excited to play here and in Taiwan," he said. "I think the fans don't get a chance to often watch an NBA game live, so hopefully they'll really enjoy the experience and I think we're going to definitely enjoy it as well."
Lin said he's had a taste of the "electric environment" of the Philippines, which tops the list of countries outside the U.S. following the NBA on Facebook and Twitter.
Lin said his Taiwanese parents told him good things about the Philippines.
"I'm glad to see and feel the warmth they showed to me in person when I got the chance to walk in the mall last night. Everyone was polite, respectful and I was really blown away," he said.