TANDUAY Light is seeking intervention from the PBA, saying D-League draft pick Chris Newsome shunned the team’s contract offer and joined Hapee Toothpaste.
Head coach Lawrence Chongson said he has spoken with PBA commissioner Chito Salud and will send a formal letter to the league about the matter.
Tanduay picked Newsome second overall in the D-League draft last month and Chongson said a contract offer was prepared but Newsome could not be found during the five-day window for the signing draftees.
Newsome automatically became a free agent when the windor closed, allowing him to sign with powerhouse Hapee Toothpaste that boasts of Garvo Lanete, Bobby Ray Parks and Arnold Van Opstal.
“Puwede bang ganun na ’yung player magtatago pa lang ng ilang araw, ligtas ka na?” Chongson stressed during a talk with Spin.ph.
The veteran coach felt a sense of ‘injustice’ after his team lost a player due to a technicality. He also cited a rule in the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) where teams were given protection from such matter.
“Sa PBL kay Chino Trinidad, submit ka ng offer sheet, hindi na kailangan ng pirma ng player. May lock ka na sa player na ’yun and you have signified your intention na gusto mo ’yung player na ’yun. ‘Yung team ang may karapatan na i-release ‘yung player, hindi ‘yung player,” said Chongson.
“Kung alam ko lang, iba na lang dinraft ko. Gusto pa nga ng staff ko si (Arnold) Van Opstal dahil wala kaming malaki pero hinabol ko si Newsome, tapos mawawala pa. Nakakalungkot. Injustice dahil draft pick namin ’yun eh,” said Chongson.
Chongson said the Newsome situation sets a bad precedent to the PBA D-League in which draftees can just let the five-day period lapse and go to any team they want.
“Oo dinaan sa technicality pero ganito ba tayo dito?” said Chongson.
The Tanduay Light head coach is still hopeful they will be able to have Newsome in the team through the intercession of the PBA.
“Ang hope pa rin namin is the PBA will do the right thing,” said Chongson.
“We will not let go of Newsome without a fight.”