Where to watch the NBA Playoffs?

Bugsy’s now has four branches in Metro Manila. (Courtesy Bugsy’s Facebook)

‘Tis the season to be jolly for all basketball fans because the NBA Playoffs are already in full swing! Millions of fanatics in the country are salivating about the tooth-and-nail, grind-it-out, down-to-the-wire competition from the top 16 teams in the Association.

After a grueling regular season, the real test begins for the much coveted Larry O’Brien trophy. It will be a daily dose of action: explosive Russell Westbrook forays to the rim, thunderous LeBron James windmill slams, and sweet Stephen Curry long range bombs.

Sadly, we Filipinos live in the opposite time zone. We can’t watch games in the comfort of our couches at night or have an afternoon viewing party with our equally NBA-crazed friends. Playoff games either start early in the morning (especially for the East match-ups) or when we’re already starting a busy workday.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a glimpse of the action! Several bars and restaurants carry live NBA games, which you can watch during your coffee run or quick breakfast fix. Or for those doing the graveyard shift, you can even have drinks, relax after a day’s work, and enjoy the entire the game! Heck, why not go for some 4th quarter beers during an “early lunch”? Here are eight joints located near major business districts so you don’t miss a second of the NBA Playoffs.



121 is always packed during a Manny Pacquiao fight. (Courtesy 121 Facebook)


Unit G1B & G2B Eastwood Citywalk Phase 1, Libis, Quezon City

Operating hours: 24 hrs (daily)

Getting its name from the building number of its original branch in Salcedo Village, 121 is arguably the most popular spot in Eastwood for those who want to watch live games or sporting events. Three 32-inch HD TVs are set up in the open area, which can seat 50 people. It has affordable offerings of all-time Filipino favorites for P100 to P250, a slam dunk for people who just joined the workforce. The food is far from extraordinary but you know what exactly you’re getting. 121 also has a branch in Pasong Tamo but it doesn’t open until 11 am.

Best sellers: Lumpiang shanghai, grilled pork chop, and grilled liempo

Beer: Local (P69 above)



Bugsy’s now has four branches in Metro Manila. (Courtesy Bugsy’s Facebook)

Unit C-105 Citygolf Plaza, Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig

Operating hours: 11am – 4am (daily)

Bugsy’s also has branches in Salcedo Village in Makati, Burgos Circle in Taguig, and Westgate Center in Alabang, but we’re recommending this one in Ortigas since there aren’t many joints that offer NBA games in the area. For yuppies slash hoops fans, this is a terrific choice for lunch outs. It has three HD TVs and two floors, which can house a total of around 110 people. The food price is a bit steep but you get your money’s worth. If you’re curious, Bugsy’s is inspired by famous 1940s Las Vegas mafia Bugsy Siegel, which explains the place’s classic ambience.

Best sellers: Bugsy’s Famous Cured Beef Surprise, fish and chips, grilled pork chops

Beer: Local (P85 above)/ Imported (P165 above)



8471 Kalayaan Ave. cor. Fermin St., Makati

Operating hours: 9am – 2am (Mon – Thur)/ 24 hours (Fri – Sun)

If you have extra money to burn for more modish viewing, then head on to Howzat. A favorite joint of Europeans in the area for almost seven years now, it’s more known for airing football and rugby but it also carries NBA games. It boasts of 15 huge HD TVs, giving you a smorgasbord of action from almost everywhere. The bar can seat up to 80 people, conducive for viewing with officemates. It offers local and foreign cuisine from Thai to Indian to Italian. For those who want to get a few early drinks, happy hour starts at 8 am.

Best sellers: Howzat Burger, Hangover Burger, and cottage pie

Beer: Local (P90 above)/ Imported (P150 above)



New Orleans also has branches in Newport, Robinson’s Magnolia, and MOA. (Courtesy New Orleans Facebook)


B6 Bonifacio High Street, 5th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Operating hours: 11am – 12mn (daily)

It’s more known as a go-to place for Cajun food, but Murray’s New Orleans has also become a hangout for hoop nuts because of its live NBA games. It has seven 30-inch HD TVs, which are more than enough. If you want a less rowdy viewing experience, this is a good option since it only seats up to 50 people and most are just eating anyway. Owned by a true Bayou boy, you’ll usually find Americans watching the games, while enjoying a delicious lunch. If you’re thirsty for some booze, the bar offers affordable local and imported beers on tap.

Best sellers: Mardi Gras Nachos, oysters, and steaks

Beer: Local (P85 above)/ Imported (P150 above)



A must-visit place for all NBA aficionados. (Courtesy @jenkindylim/ Twitter)

Level 5, SM Aura Skypark, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Operating hours: 10am – 10pm (Sun – Thurs)/ 10am – 2am (Fri – Sat)

There’s not much to explain, really. It’s the NBA’s official café! Establishing its first branch outside the U.S. in the Philippines was a no-brainer. Like the NBA Cafés in the States, this one in SM Aura is adorned with iconic photos and memorabilia like replicas of the Larry O’Brien trophy, autographed balls, etc. It’s hard to focus on the game with so much stuff around, but we can’t blame you. For chows, contemporary American food is offered. The bar has signature cocktails and local and imported beers. If you’re a diehard fan, you really can’t go wrong with NBA Café.

Best sellers: Hickory bacon burger, meatball pizza, and baby back ribs

Beer: Local (P150)/ Imported (P220 above)



Jeric and Jeron Teng dropped by at Red Buffalo Wings & Pizza. (Courtesy Red Buffalo Facebook)

G/F Eastwood City Walk 1, Eastwood Cyberpark, Libis, Quezon City

Operating hours: 11am – 2:30am (weekdays)/ 11am – 12mn (weekends)

Tucked near Citybank and IBM in Eastwood is this casual, modest sized restaurant. It’s not a sports bar by any stretch. In fact, it only has one HD TV installed on the second floor. But luckily for you basketball addicts, it’s regularly fixed on the NBA. So if you want a place where you can quietly watch with your friends and shamelessly cheer for your favorite squad, this is the spot. It’s budget-friendly too for young employees in the area as set meals only cost a little over P100. You can also try Red Buffalo’s original branch at Greenhills Towncenter.

Best sellers: Chicken wings, pizza, baby back ribs

Beer: Local (P45-P55)



Crowd erupting during Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios face-off. (Courtesy Skinny Mike’s Facebook)

32nd St. cor. Justice Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Operating hours: 24 hours (daily)

Perhaps the most popular sports bar in the metro, sports fans flock to Skinny Mike’s daily to watch what’s on tap. At this time of the year, the NBA Playoffs rules its TV screens—all 20 of them. If your favorite team is playing on a Tuesday, you might want to haul up your appetite to BGC because Tuesday is Wing Day (P10 per chicken wing!). About 180 people can comfortably fit in its two floors and you don’t have to wear your necktie or fancy slacks. Since opening last year, business has surely fattened for good ol’ fictional Mike.

Best sellers: Tailgate Burger, Skinny Mike’s Nachos, Angus balls

Beer: Local (P65 above)/ Imported (P100 above)



G/F Tune Hotel, Mercado St. cor. Calderon St., Makati

Operating hours: 24 hours (daily)

Located on the ground floor of a popular hotel chain, Team Insider is owned and managed by veteran restaurateurs. You can select what game to watch from the 11 42-inch HD TVs installed. Finding a seat shouldn’t be a problem since it can hold up to 100 people. Imagine all of them raucously watching the NBA. Now, that’s an adrenaline-filled start to your day. Sports-viewing is incomplete without grabbing a little grub. The kitchen offers Filipino, American, and English fare. If you don’t want to spend much on the entrees, you can stick with the appetizers and the breakfast menu.

Best sellers: Insider Burger, Insider Homemade Pies, and buffalo chicken wings

Beer: Local (P90 above)/ Imported (P150 above)

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  • East Asia Travel

    Great list of sports bars. I know NBA is huge in Philippines and these businesses seem to be doing well. Nice write up on them too.