MANILA, Philippines – Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard apologized to basketball fans following the disappointing outcome of "The Last Home Stand" charity basketball event at the Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday night.
Filipino fans thought that Lillard and other NBA stars – including James Harden and Kawhi Leonard – were in town to play an exhibition game against the Gilas Pilipinas national team, but it was announced at the last minute that there would be no contest.
Instead, Gilas and the NBA stars went through practice drills organized by Coach John Lucas.
Informed by a fan through Twitter that "disappointment is an understatement," Lillard replied: "Sorry, it was beyond our control."
Lillard did try his best to entertain the fans at the Araneta Coliseum, and for a stretch he succeeded. The former Rookie of the Year went one-on-one briefly against Jimmy Alapag, stole the ball from him, and nailed a pull-up three pointer.
It was one of the few highlights of the events. Soon after, boos again started to echo in the coliseum.
Lillard retweeted a few fans who sent him messages of support, including one who said that he "played like an MVP today, too bad they didn't allow you guys to play."
Another fan told Lillard: "We understand that you couldn't play but thanks for trying to cheer us up especially to the guys watching at home."
Lillard was also supposed to visit the adidas store at Trinoma on Wednesday, but that event too has been cancelled.