ABU Tratter shed light on his decision to no longer pursue his desire to play in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), citing what he felt was an 'unprofessional' handling of his case.
“I believe that it wasn’t really about the height, but really something deeper than that,” the former La Salle slotman said.
Tratter was supposed to play for the Bataan Defenders this conference, but didn't bother to show up for his second measurement session after what he felt was a dubious processing of the league of his initial evaluation.
The Fil-Am big man was placed at 6-5 in the first measurement, which ruled him ineligible no thanks to the MPBL’s height limit for Fil-foreigners at 6-4 that rule was enforced starting this conference.
“I felt like it was disrespectful and the way that they measured me in the first time was very unprofessional. So I decided to not just go to the second measurement,” he said.
He wasn’t the lone casualty of the controversial rule.
Fil-Am swingman Lawrence Domingo was set to play for the Mandaluyong El Tigre, until the expansion team was forced to pick between him and Alab Pilipinas teammate Rayray Parks by the league limit on Fil-foreigners.
“There’s a lot of cases, and it wasn’t just me, that the players are being measured for what reason? So that they can exclude people?” he asked. “I think that in this time and age, it’s not right for people to be segregated just based of either height or appearance.”
Even though he’ll no longer be suiting up for the team, Tratter still wishes nothing but the best for Bataan in its campaign in the 2018 Anta Datu Cup.
“Bataan definitely supported me all the way through. I was looking forward on having all the opportunities that coach Jojo Lastimosa, his management team, and his coaching staff had for me, but unfortunately, the MPBL had some rules that are set that stops me from playing,” he said.
“I would be supporting them all the way through. I wish them all the best of luck and I hope they win it all.”
For now, Tratter has his sights set on continuing his run with the Gilas Pilipinas cadets as well as returning to Marinerong Pilipino in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
“I’ll continue to play for Gilas and right now, I’m looking forward to play for Marinero in the D-League where I’m welcome,” he said. - With reports from Gillian Geronimo