THE furor over the cancelled tune-up games featuring Gilas Pilipinas and a team of NBA stars is still simmering and debates continue to rage over how the event was handled - or mishandled.
But the morning after, as the repercussions of the bizarre turn of events started to be felt and excuses given over the scrapped 'Last Home Stand' failed to stand, organizers also have to count their losses after a multi-million project gone bad.
The figure is in fact eye-popping?
According to an insider, the group of top basketball patron Manny V. Pangilinan's, in its desire to help Gilas prepare for the Fiba World Cup and at the same time throw a huge basketball party on his 68th birthday, will end up footing a US$4.6 million bill or around P200M.
Huge as the total seemed, the figure makes sense considering that organizers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, had committed to pay some of the 12 players upwards of US$150,000 each for the two-day event.
During a hastily called press conference, organizers said the players have been "partially paid" even before Tuesday's scrapped game.
The other expenses should come from the players' airfare and accommodations, venue bookings, and other miscellaneous expenditures.
The figure, of course, is bound to hit the roof now that organizers have committed to refund all the fans who paid as much as P23,300 for tickets to watch what turned out to be a practice drill of Gilas and the NBA stars led by James Harden, Kyle Lowry, Damian Lillard, and Tyson Chandler.
There was obviously someone else to blame for this, but the worst part is, it was still MVP who had to face the cameras and apologize to the public for this mess.
“From my own lips, mag-a-apologize na ko and I will offer refunds,” Pangilinan told his top business and events lieutenants as the anger simmered among fans at the Big Dome on Tuesday night.
“Every Tom, Dick and Jerry would really expect this event to have a game (NBA stars versus Gilas players). I will be man enough to take the accountability and offer the remedial option,” added the soft-spoken sports patron.
“The last thing I want is to shortchange the fans. Ayaw ko ng ganun, hindi ganun,” he added.
Meanwhile, a source told Spin.ph that Pangilinan held a very long roundtable meeting at Smart Araneta Coliseum lounge with his staff until 2 a.m. in the wake of the debacle.
Because of the outrage from fans, Pangilinan already cancelled the second day of the event scheduled for Wednesday evening as well as the side activities of the NBA stars’ visit including the meet and greet at the SM Megamall has also been scrapped.
More news about the cancelled Gilas-NBA game: