PLDT chairman and SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – Manny Pangilinan, chairman of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), has apologized to basketball fans for the cancellation of of the 'Last Home Stand' charity basketball games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Basketball fans who bought tickets ranging from P750 to P23,000 were hoping to watch an exhibition game between visiting NBA players, led by James Harden, and members of the Gilas Pilipinas training pool.
"We wish to apologize to our Filipino basketball fans for the sudden and disappointing turn of events today. We ourselves are extremely disappointed by this unexpected development,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
As it turned out, the Last Home Stand games were not sanctioned by the NBA or any of the players’ NBA clubs. The players' contracts bar them from participating in exhibition games without clearance from the league.
NBA players who were supposed to participate in the games are James Harden, Tyson Chandler, Terrence Ross, Ed Davis, Brandon Jennings, Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan, Nick Johnson, Kyle Lowry and 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. They were dubbed as the “Fibr All-Stars.”
PLDT Executive Vice President Ariel Fermin said the agreement with the event organizer, IGW -- "whose role it was to arrange the participation of the NBA players" -- provided for a format involving a basketball clinic followed by a 5-on-5 game between Gilas Pilipinas and the Fibr All-Stars.
However, PLDT was informed by IGW a few hours before the event that the 5-on-5 game was not allowed by the NBA.
The games, scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, were supposed to raise funds for the survivors of calamities that have recently hit the country.
“All we wanted was to give our Filipino basketball fans a real treat while at the same time, through this benefit event, help our countrymen who are still recovering from Supertyphoon Yolanda and more recently Typhoon Glenda," he said.
Meanwhile, Fermin assured ticket holders they would be refunded in full.
He said those seeking a refund may send the following information: 1) Full name; 2) ticket number; 3) contact number; and 4) email address either by text message to 0919 614 0865 or email to [email protected]
The ten-digit ticket number can be found at the left portion of the ticket, below the seat number.