MANILA - Following fan furor over day one of its Gilas Last Home Stand charity event, PLDT has cancelled the event's second day, which is scheduled for July 23.
The Gilas Last Home Stand, which kicked off at the Araneta Coliseum on July 22, was meant to feature an exhibition match between the Philippine national team and players from the NBA.
However at the event, Gilas head coach Chot Reyes said that the audience would instead be seeing how Gilas trains for games, to the disappointment and outrage of fans who paid between P750 and P23,300 for tickets.
PLDT executive vice president Ariel Fermin then added that a full refund on tickets will be given to fans, while reminding the crowd that proceeds from the event will go to charity.
Fermin 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 RefundIGW@gmail.com.
The ten-digit ticket number can be found at left portion of the ticket, below the seat number.
According to a statement from PLDT, it was only informed a few hours before the event that the game was not allowed by the NBA.
PLDT chairman Manny Pangilinan in the statement said sorry to fans: "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 Supertyphoon Yolanda and more recently Typhoon Glenda," Pangilinan said.
Meanwhile, the NBA said that the event promoter, East-West Private LLC, did not take the required steps that would allow the NBA players to participate in the games.
"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 NBA said in a statement.
"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," it said. "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."