The story behind KC and Chandler's 'dinner date'
MANILA - KC Concepcion and American cager Chandler Parsons made headlines early this month when they confirmed having dinner prior to the NBA Global Games, triggering speculation of a brewing relationship between the two.
Parsons, who plays for the Houston Rockets, said that he enjoyed spending time with the 28-year-old actress and referred to her as a "great girl" in an interview.
Concepcion, likewise, confirmed the meeting when she posted a collage of the night on her Instagram page. The photos showed her with Parsons, along with her celebrity half-sisters and his group of friends.
"Mabuhay!" the caption read. "So much to see, so little time! Fun night with my ladiez & the big boys."
But how did the two meet? And how did it lead to the what write-ups have referred to as a "dinner date"?
Concepcion, in a recent interview with entertainment news site Philippine Entertainment Portal, recalled that it was Parsons who first followed her on the micro-blogging site Twitter, where the two were seen exchanging messages back in 2012.
"Siya ang unang nag-follow sa akin sa Twitter. Unang nag-contact sa akin," said Concepcion.
But Concepcion said this wasn't their first interaction. The actress, who drew attention to the relationship when TV host Kris Aquino teased her about an unnamed basketball player during a televised interview, said that she met Parsons through his Rockets teammate Jeremy Lin.
“Common friend. Very good friend siya nina Tim, Jeremy Lin na gumagawa ng mga charity works dito. So, nag-start 'yun dun," she said.
Parsons, with his candid admission of the "dinner date" with Concepcion, unwittingly triggered speculation about his ties with the actress.
The "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala" star, however, dismissed talks of romantic links with the player, labeling the meeting as a "welcome dinner." She emphasized that they were not alone that night.
“That was a private dinner, sa isang function room. We were fifteen. And closed-doors siya. Hindi siya yung tipong nasa restaurant ka na kita ng lahat. Very private.
“Kaya nga nagulat ako nung sinabi niyang nag-dinner kami. Siya pa yung nagkuwento sa akin na, 'Oh, during training, the press asked me about you and I ended up talking about [it].'
"Reaction ko, 'What?!" she said.
Concepcion added she was surprised they managed to meet, considering Parsons' strict schedule. She recalled being invited to dinner by the star athlete, and leaving it to him to arrange the get-together.
“Kasi medyo istrikto sila sa NBA. Ewan ko kung ano ang nangyari. Basta ang alam ko lang, gusto nilang mag-dinner. Hindi ko na alam kung ano yung arrangement na nangyari nung mga time na 'yun,” said the actress.
With the "dinner date" becoming public knowledge, rumors of a romantic relationship between Parsons and Concepcion surfaced. Her attendance to the NBA game in Pasay City -- she later thanked Parsons for the tickets -- also became the subject of online buzz.
Addressing this, Concepcion said, "Nagulat ako na romance agad yung anggulo [sa mga balita]. Hindi rin naman kasi nila alam na magkakilala na kami, matagal na."
Asked why she went public with the collage of photos of her with Parsons, the actress said, "Nung malaman nga ng mga tao, sila rin ang nagsabi na, 'Ang daya mo. Bakit ikaw, walang pinu-post? May itinatago?'"
“Nung private 'yung mga bagay sa akin, nagtatampo kayo dahil wala akong isini-share... Pero nung katiting na maliit na maliit na shinare ko, after na niyang magsalita, biglang ayun, lumabas na yung mga kung anu-ano nang mga sinasabi nila," she said, referring to the negative comments she received on her account.
"Parang sabi ko nga sa Twitter recently, 'Damn if you do, damn if you don’t," she added.
Concepcion was also quick to say "no" when asked if she felt "kilig" when she met Parsons that night. “Hindi. Ayokong kiligin. Ayokong kiligin sa isang taong may girlfriend na. So, hindi talaga," she said.
Parsons reportedly has a girlfriend named Robyn Crowley.
“I’d like to just want focus on the friendship angle lang. For me, to be friend to people like that, na hindi naman ako yung lumapit sa kanya, at wala naman akong kaalam-alam sa basketball, parang, you wanna give them a good time. You want to show them na may maganda dito sa Pilipinas," she said.
Now that Parsons is off jet-setting as part of the NBA, Concepcion happily shared they still manage to keep in touch. On whether he regularly calls her, the actress quipped, “A, basta! Parang normal friends lang kami!”