NBA stars Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Paul George Of the Indiana Pacers have pulled out of the tune-up games against Gilas Pilipinas at the last minute because of "personal reasons," leaving the benefit event without its two biggest attractions.
In their place, LA Clippers forward Matt Barnes has come in to join the NBA players.
Griffin, a former NBA slam dunk champion, apologized for failing to plane in for the Tuesday and Wednesday's games in a video posted online, but promised to make up for it in the future.
"I will come over and spend one-on-one time with you and do all the great things I’ll miss today with the charity, the kids," Griffin said in an official statement released to sports media on Tuesday.
In explaining his no-show, Griffin said "something from home needed my urgent attention."
The high-flying Clippers star hinted that he will come over on his own to make up for his absence from the tune-up games for the Gilas team bound for the Fiba World Cup and the Asian Games.
"Of course, all of you who are looking forward to spending a great time with all of us from Team Fibr. Keep all your tickets, because we will definitely see each other soon.”
Griffin, a member of Team USA's pool for the World Cup, said he will "keep an eye out" for Gilas in Spain while extending his apologies to sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan.
The athletic George, on the other hand, has been constrained from leaving the United States on account of an urgent "personal matter as well," organizers said.
Without the two, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Portland guard Damian Lillard will be carrying the load for the NBA stars in matches against Gilas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Griffin and George were absent from the launch of the event at the NBA Cafe on Tuesday, but organizers made no official announcement that the pair would be missing the two matches.
See the Blake Griffin apology in this YouTube video: