THE Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has warned of possible sanctions on organizers of the scrapped 'Last Home Stand’ basketball event, saying they may be liable for fraud for 'misleading the public' that a game between Gilas Pilipinas and NBA players was to take place on Tuesday night.
In a talk with Spin.ph, GAB commissioner Aquil Tamano disclosed the government's regulating body for professional sports will be writing a letter to organizers to seek an explanation for the events that led to the cancellation of games set on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Actually we are now studying what sanctions ang pwedeng ipataw dito sa mga organizers,” said Tamano. “Partly they defrauded the public, so we will be writing them a formal letter and we will be sending it to them tomorrow (Thursday).”
Tamano said he is looking closely into the explanation given by organizers, specifically PLDT vice president Ariel Fermin, that the event was from the start marketed as a basketball clinic and not an exhibition series between Gilas and a collection of NBA players.
“They mislead, parang there was fraud pa nga. Parang sinabi nila na may game talaga, and people went all the way from the provinces to go to Metro Manila. Hindi naman nila mare-refund 'yung expenses na 'yun, plus ang mahal ng ticket,” he said.
“Refund was the least they could have done.”
The youthful GAB official also cast doubt on the claim of Fermin that the events were marketed as a clinic with drills among players from both sides.
“Everybody believed it because of the advertisements, their press releases that it was the Philippines’ ‘last stand’ eh. We were made to believe that there was truly a game,” he said.
“The public was shortchanged, so we would want to inquire what led them to make these promises.”
The Mindanao-raised lawyer said the GAB is now carefully studying its charter while looking into the staging of the 'Last Home Stand’ which was sanctioned by the government agency.
He, however, stressed that the agency will give the organizers, led by PLDT and the East West Private LLC agency that served as the third party in the negotiations with the players and the NBA, the chance to explain their side.
“It’s possible (suspension). Pero pag-uusapan pa namin ng board. We will discuss it pa with the board,” he said.
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