NBA speaks up on 'Last Home Stand' fiasco

Posted at 07/23/14 3:13 PM

MANILA -- The promoters of "The Last Home Stand" charity basketball event failed to meet the requirements set by the National Basketball Association (NBA), the league said in a statement on Wednesday.

A group of NBA stars, led by James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard, was supposed to play a 5-on-5 game against the Gilas Pilipinas national team, but hours before the event, the 5-on-5 game was scrapped.

Explaining their side of the situation, the NBA said that under the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), "players are allowed to participate in offseason basketball games or exhibitions, when requirements for those events are met."

Among the requirements are "ensuring that appropriate safeguards are 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," the NBA said in its statement.

Because the "Last Home Stand" was an unsanctioned event, the players could have been fined and suspended if they participated in Tuesday night's festivities, including the 5-on-5 game and even the three-point shootout contest and slam dunk contest.

In a statement released Tuesday night, PLDT executive vice president Ariel Fermin said the agreement with the event organizer, IGW -- whose role it was to arrange the participation of the NBA players -- provided for a format involving a basketball clinic followed by a 5-on-5 game.

PLDT was informed just hours before the event on Tuesday, however, that the 5-on-5 game, as advised by IGW to PLDT, was not allowed by the NBA.

The second day of "The Last Home Stand," which was scheduled for Wednesday, June 23, has been cancelled, and fans have been offered refunds for their tickets.

The event was supposed to benefit Caritas Manila, Philippine Disaster Relief Fund, and the MVP Sports Foundation.

The NBA, in their statement, said they are "committed to bringing (Filipino fans) more access to our game and supporting the ongoing Typhoon Haiyan rehabilitation efforts."

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