The NBA: Smart Gilas: The Last Home Stand

UPDATE - July 23, 2014
Events for July 22 and 23 have been cancelled. The organizers and PLDT are giving conflicting reasons for the failure of the charity event. One reason talks about the NBA threatening the Fibr All-stars with fines and suspensions if they play in a game not sanctioned by the league. The other reason revolves around the notion that the event "was never promoted as a game". Whatever the actual reason was, the Last Home Stand was an embarrassment. However, that should not influence my support for Smart-Gilas. Laban Pilipinas! #Puso 

Smart Gilas completed a successful run during the recent FIBA Asia Cup at Wuhan, China where they placed their best finish ever at 3rd place and received the bronze medal. Now, Gilas is back in Manila to face another adversary, the Fibr All-Stars. The event will take place at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum during July 22-23.

2014 NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard
(All images by: Joey Puno)

The Fibr All-Stars are composed of NBA players headed by current Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and James Harden of the Houston Rockets. They are also reinforced by Brandon Jennings of the Detroit Pistons and a trio of players from the Toronto Raptors (Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan).

DeMar is back in Manila after visiting 2 weeks ago

Missing from yesterday's press conference at the NBA Cafe in SM Aura were Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers, Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Ed Davis of the LA Lakers and rookie Nick Johnson of the Houston Rockets. They are expected to be in Manila for the actual event. UPDATE: Paul George and Blake Griffin will NOT attend anymore. 

Brandon Jennings cannot wait to display his street-ball skills 

The Fibr All-Stars will play against Smart-Gilas in a charity exhibition game while other events like a Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout are part of the festivities. Terrence Ross, Nick Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, Paul George and (hopefully) Blake Griffin are projected to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest. The dunkers might face Gilas stalwarts Japeth Aguilar and Gabe Norwood.

Damian Lillard 

The Three-Point Shootout will probably involve James Harden, Damian Lillard, Brandon Jennings and Kyle Lowry while Gilas might parade Jimmy Alapag, Paul Lee, Gary David, Larry Fonacier and Jeff Chan. Regardless of who competes or not, the events will surely be exciting and entertaining for basketball fans in Manila. The event will be televised on TV5.

The Beard is back in Manila for the second time

The Gilas: Last Home Stand is a charity event for the PDRF (Philippine Disaster Recovery Fund). Tickets are no longer available online BUT you can still purchase them at Ticketnet Box Office or all Ticketnet outlets. Prices range from P750 - P23,000.

Group shot of the Fibr All-Stars

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