Fans dismayed over NBA, Gilas tune-up game fiasco-A A +A
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
MANILA -- Basketball fans were in for a disappointment after the much hyped "tune-up" game between the national basketball team Gilas Pilipinas and a contingent of superstars from the National Basketball Association (NBA) was cancelled Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Center.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes made the announcement to the fans who paid P750 to as much as P23,300 just to watch the event dubbed as PLDT Home's "Last Home Stand" All-Star Charity Event.
"We're going to see something tonight that has never been seen before: we're going to see an inside look to how your Gilas Pilipinas team prepares," Reyes said.
The crowd, instead, were treated to a showcase of dunks and practice drills from the NBA stars as well as a skirmish game among Gilas players.
Later, it was learned that the cancellation came after the NBA disallowed its players to participate in the said tune-up game, citing the promoter failed to meet the requirements set under the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“Under the terms of the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement, players are allowed to participate in offseason basketball games or exhibitions when requirements for those events are met, including ensuring that appropriate safeguards be in place, and the promoter seeks the proper exemptions from the NBA and the player’s team. The promoter of this proposed event, East-West Private LLC, was informed of this process several months ago but did not take the required steps. Filipinos are among the most passionate basketball fans in the world and we are committed to bringing them more access to our game and supporting the ongoing Typhoon Haiyan rehabilitation efforts,” a statement issued later by the NBA read.
Earlier on Tuesday, NBA stars Blake Griffin and Paul George, two of the players expected to take part in the event, said they would no longer be present due to personal reasons.
Among the NBA stars who participated in the charity event were James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Kyle Lowry, Damian Lillard, Terrence Ross, Kawhi Leonard, Tyson Chandler, Matt Barnes, Ed Davis, and Nick Johnson.
Organizers, meanwhile, promised unhappy fans that they can get a refund but reminded everyone that the proceeds will still go to charity if the purchasers will not get their money back.
PLDT head and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SMB) chairman Manny V. Pangilinan also made an apology to the fans after the event.
"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. 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 Super Typhoon Yolanda and more recently Typhoon Glenda," Pangilinan said.
Reactions from netizens
Netizens also showed their disappointment through social networking sites like twitter and Facebook. Here are some of their tweets:
— Jherr?? (@IamYoursJherr) July 22, 2014
— YuripOTX (@lyonnais24) July 22, 2014
buti nlanag talga hindi ako natuloy dun sa #LastHomeStand even tho i wasnt there i can feel the animosity and betrayal. buti may refund
— peekthis (@peekthis) July 23, 2014
— Bryan_sama™ (@BPq30) July 23, 2014
(Buen Josef Andrade/Sunnex)