The Last Home StandMANILA — With the cancellation of the two-day charity event here featuring players from the National Basketball Association (NBA), the US-based league is putting the blame on the organizers that helped prepare for what should have been the biggest basketball happening in the country this year.

For the NBA, at fault is a group known as East-West Private LLC.

In a statement issued to various media outlets, the NBA said that under the terms of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement players can participate in offseason basketball games or exhibition matches provided the requirements are all met by the organizers.

However, this must include “ensuring that appropriate safeguards be in place, and the promoter seeks the proper exemptions from the NBA and the player’s team” and in this case, the nine players here are from seven NBA teams.

“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.

PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, also president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), said that his group doesn’t deal directly with the NBA, but with the group from East-West led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maria Espaldon. He said PLDT’s responsibility is to the Filipino basketball fans.

“That’s why it is a basketball clinic but we clearly appreciated the expectation that there would be a 5-on-5 or a game, the sort that follows a clinic, that much is clear to us,” he said at a press conference.

“I think there should be no mincing of words here,” said Pangilinan.

“Clearly we created that expectation and perception. So our job as PLDT is to be accountable for that deception, that’s why there’s an offer for a rebook. If the folks are unhappy in respect of the tickets they’ve purchased, it is our duty as a corporate citizen to say we’re unhappy,” Pangilinan added.