THE playdate has been picked, the team of former NBA stars has been named and the tickets are on sale.
But with about three weeks to go before the "All-Star Basketball Challenge" which the Mall of Asia Arena is scheduled to hold on July 18, the final pieces of the puzzle have yet to fall into place.
MOA's official Twitter account has continued to pique cage fans' interest with a poster of the one-off match that was supposed to be bannered by Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman and former NBA stars Horace Grant, Mitch Richmond, Jason Williams and Bryon Russell.
Its latest tweet on Friday announced the ticket prices for the event, which ranged from P5,075 for ringside seats to P310 for general admission. Calls to SM Tickets confirmed that tickets for the match are now on sale.
But to this day, no official announcement has been made by organizers and both MOA tweets as well as its posters have made no mention of which team the former NBA stars would face.
A website of a giant television network on Monday picked up a story that the All-Stars would be playing a selection of UAAP players -- a report that was immediately denied by UAAP president Nilo Ocampo of National University.
“It’s not true because by that time, the season has already started,” said Ocampo. The UAAP kicks off its season on July 14 and will hold games a day after the scheduled exhibition match.
“From what I heard, it’s either Smart Gilas or another selection but definitely not a UAAP selection,” Ocampo added.
Ocampo said organizers had planned for the UAAP to have some involvement in the event.
“There were exploratory talks of a rematch of the Filoil Cup finals between NU and La Salle but it didn’t materialize because the UAAP season has a playdate the next day,” said Ocampo.
The PBA, through its media bureau chief Willie Marcial, had already said that no one from MOA Arena management has so far contacted with the league about a possible participation in the match.
The exhibition game, which falls on a Wednesday, is a regular playdate of the PBA.
National coach Chot Reyes has also denied knowledge of any involvement by the Gilas pool.