Fans accuse organizers of false advertising
MANILA (UPDATE) – Visiting National Basketball Association (NBA) players for PLDT's 'Last Home Stand' charity event were reportedly threatened with hefty fines if they participate in games not sanctioned by the league.
ABS-CBN’s TJ Manotoc reported that this was the reason why the 'Last Home Stand' charity games between the NBA players, led by James Harden, and the Gilas Pilipinas training pool were shelved.
“Aayon sa aming mga sources na nakausap dito na nagkaroon daw ng isang mabigat na warning galing sa NBA na hindi papayagan ang mga players na maglaro sa isang exhibition game, kundi magkakaroon sila ng malalaking multa pagbalik nila sa Amerika,” said Manotoc.
“Kaya last minute daw bago ng event nakansela ang laro.”
The cheapest ticket for the game was P750, while the most expensive patron ticket was P23,000.
The Last Home Stand event was supposed to feature two exhibition games between the NBA players and the Philippine national basketball team on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But because of the legal implications, organizers were forced to scrap both games, Manotoc said.
Instead of a charity game, the players held a training session to show fans how they prepare or practice for international matches.
"Nag-announce si Chot Reyes, ‘yung head coach ng Gilas Pilipinas, at maging ang Vice President ng PLDT na si Mr. Ariel Fermin at sinabi nilang walang magaganap na laro o exhibition game ngayong gabi,” reported Manotoc.
“Dahil doon, magkakaroon lang sila ng practice or drills kung saan nila mapapakita sa mga fans kung paanong naghahanda ang mga koponan gaya ng Gilas para isang importanteng tournament.”
Manotoc, reporting from the Smart Araneta Coliseum, said some spectators could not hide they dismay over the cancelled games.
He said that there was even a family of four who came all the way from Nueva Ecija just to see the NBA stars play against Gilas.
“Dinayo pa nila ito, para lang sa larong ito,” said Manotoc.
“Talagang galit na galit sila at ayon sa kanila, misleading daw ang advertising ng laro dahil merong sila sabing Last Home Stand at dahil daw merong dalawang koponan ng mga manlalaro, inaasahan nila na magkakaroon na isang laro.”
NBA players who were in Manila for the games include James Harden, Tyson Chandler, Terrence Ross, Ed Davis, Brandon Jennings, Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan, Nick Johnson, Kyle Lowry and 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
Citing unnamed sources, Manotoc said the decision to scrap the games was reached just hours before the supposed event was to take place.
“Hours before the event lang daw sila naliwanagan mula sa NBA officials na hindi papayagan ang mga players ng NBA na maglaro sa exhibition game dahil nakasaad sa kanilang kontrata bilang NBA players na kung walang written permission ng inyong mga koponan at ng NBA ay hindi sila papayagan maglaro,” he said.
He said that the negotiations for the event never involved the NBA or any of the mother clubs of the visiting players.
“It only involved the individual talent managers and the agents of these players and neither the teams, ‘yung mga teams never gonna get involved ‘yan kasi off season naman ngayon.”