MANILA, Philippines – Businessman and sports patron Manny Pangilinan on Thursday confirmed interest in buying a stake in the Los Angeles Clippers after the team's owner, Donald Sterling, got a lifetime ban from the NBA for his racist comments.
Pangilinan told ANC's Coco Alcuaz that he is planning to invest in the NBA team together with a group of friends.
He, however, said none of his companies will participate in the bid.
“I'm trying to gather a group of friends to co-invest so yes, the intention is to make the potential investment personal,” said Pangilinan, chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and owner of PBA team Talk ‘N Text.
“None of the Group companies will be involved, investment-wise.”
This is not the first time the Filipino business tycoon contemplated on investing in an NBA team.
In the past, he considered getting part ownership of NBA teams Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.
Several personalities have also expressed intent in buying the Los Angeles Clippers after the NBA banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments that triggered outrage from players, fans, and even US President Barack Obama.
Among those who are interested in purchasing the Clippers are celebrity talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood executive David Geffen, Oracle Corp. owner Larry Ellison, boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
But Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1981 for $13 million, is expected to wage legal battle against the NBA to prevent the sale.
Experts have estimated that the franchise could be worth $800 million.
The Clippers are considered a hot commodity with superstars Blake Griffin, Jordan Deandre and Chris Paul in their roster. – With a report from Reuters