Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks in front of Al Horford of the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Fiserv Forum on May 09, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (AFP)

The Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks will face off in two pre-season games in October in the United Arab Emirates, marking the first time two NBA teams have played each other in the Middle East.

The matchups will take place in the capital Abu Dhabi on October 6 and 8, officials announced on Tuesday during a press conference.

The games are part of a multi-year agreement between the NBA and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.

In 2021, the Milwaukee Bucks captured their first NBA title since 1971, with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 50 points — only the seventh player in finals history with a 50-point game.

The exhibitions in Abu Dhabi will mark the third time the team has played outside of the United States after Antetokounmpo joined — the first in 2015 in London against the New York Knicks and the second in Paris in 2020 against the Charlotte Hornets.

The NBA has a long history of staging pre-season and regular season games outside North America.

The first official overseas game took place in 1978, when the Washington Bullets traveled to Israel to play Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Since then, games have been staged throughout Europe and Asia, with Japan hosting the first overseas regular season games in 1990.

Source: Manila Bulletin (