PLDT, organizers of the Last Home Stand All-Star Charity Event, has announced that patrons that bought tickets for both event days are entitled to a full refund of the face value of their admission.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan – together with PLDT Executive Vice President Ariel Fermin, Maria Espaldon of East West, and Gilas Pilipinas Head Coach Chot Reyes – announced immediately following Tuesday night’s event at the Smart Araneta Coliseum that the second day scheduled on Wednesday has been scratched.
“We at PLDT would like to apologize to our Filipino fans for having disappointed them tonight. It was a sudden turn of events and we ourselves were disappointed with the way things have developed at the last minute, contrary to our expectations. We extend our sincerest apologies,” said Pangilinan during the press briefing.
Just hours prior to the start of the event, organizers learned that guard Kyle Lowry received word from representatives of the National Basketball Association (NBA) of a threat that fines and suspensions may be levied on all players under live contracts with their NBA teams. This prompted the players to gather in a meeting, but both the organizers and American All-Star players decided to push through with the night’s festivities.
The players continued with the show, but were visibly shaken and distraught at the potential ban that the league may levy due to their involvement.
Espaldon, who was part of the team that brought the likes of Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, James Harden and Derrick Rose during the lockout-ridden summer of 2011, said that their management coordinated with PLDT and the players’ handlers to carefully plan the event.
However, miscommunications with both the league and the organizers eventually resulted in a watered-down version of the event, one which the Filipino audience – some of which came from far-flung regions just to attend – were visibly displeased with.
Meanwhile, the Smart Araneta Coliseum management announced that three hotline numbers (836-5818, 836-5890, and 836-5819) will open starting at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday (July 22) morning to process the refund.