JAMELLE Cornley may no longer be given a second tour of duty by Rain or Shine, but it doesn’t mean he won't get an opportunity to win a second successive PBA Governors Cup championship.
GlobalPort Batang Pier coach Junel Baculi told Spin.ph on Monday that the team is now in deep negotiations with the former Best Import awardee, who fell out of favor with Rain or Shine after getting jailed for going berserk in a Quezon City hotel months ago.
The wide bodied 6-5 forward who led Rain or Shine to a maiden league championship in the Governors Cup last season has already been informed by Elasto Painters of their decision not to bring him back.
“Nakausap na namin siya. Hindi na namin siya gagamitin next conference,” said Rain or Shine team co-owner Raymund Yu, who admitted the negative impact of the controversy Cornley got involved in weighed in the ballclub's decision.
But Baculi believes Cornley only had a lapse in judgment and if his record in the PBA is to be reviewed, the former Penn State College stalwart deserves a second chance.
“OK naman ang naging ugali ni Cornley dati di ba?” said Baculi. “Pero syempre we’re still evaluating."
GlobalPort has returned to practice Monday morning, a day after the end of the Commissioner’s Cup, and the players are in the process of gaining back their conditioning.
The early practice will also give them ample time to evaluate the team.
“Kaunting conditioning lang … Nahihiya naman kami sa boss (owner Mikee Romero). Mas maganda na yung maaga para ma-evaluate yung team,” he said.
“Maganda na ring paraan ito para matanong namin ang sarili namin: ‘Ano ba ang dapat naming gawin at ano ang nangyari?’ Yan ang mga kailangan naming sagutin,” said Baculi, who had a forgettable first two conferences with GlobalPort.
So far, trades are not on the agenda for the Romero franchise, said Baculi.
“Movement? Wala pa, status quo muna kami,” said Baculi, who has nonetheless invited free agents to try out with the team.
“we’re studying the free agent market. Kung sino ang pwedeng makatulong sa amin, especially sa depensa. Wala kaming designated defensive guys. Last kami sa depensa eh,” he said.
Among the free agents invited are PBA D-League mainstays Marvin Hayes, Andrian Celada and former PBA players Chad Alonzo and Norman Gonzales.
Rookie big man Kelly Nabong is recovering well from surgery to remove bone spurs on his foot.