INFORMATICS has acquired mercurial free agent guard Nate Matute as the team continued to rebuild for the upcoming PBA D-League conference.
After singing battle-tested veterans in Jeric Teng and Jam Cortes as well as three others in their bid to contend following a forgettable Aspirants Cup, the Icons have added another significant recruit in Matute, a proven scorer who last played for Erase Xfoliant last conference.
“We were surprised that no team got him, so we grabbed the opportunity to sign a player like Nate who can play guard, shoot and slash, and bolster our backcourt,” Icons assistant coach Buboy Mata told Spin.ph.
While they are expected to get a huge offensive boost from the former Jose Rizal University Bomber, the Icons are also getting a player who has encountered misunderstandings with his previous two teams.
After being a consistent double-figure scorer for the Erasers for most of the Aspirants Cup, Matute was a no-show in their last game of the season. The incident seemed to have been triggered after he was sparingly used by new coach Caloy Garcia in the team’s second-to-the-last game.
Matute also had a falling-out with JRU coach Vergel Meneses in the NCAA. After leading the Bombers in scoring in the first round of Season 88, Matute’s performance mysteriously dipped in the second round, prompting Meneses to relegate him to the bench.
Mata, however, defended the team’s newest signing.
“I don’t think any player is un-coachable. You just have to guide them, define their roles and set goals,” said coach Buds Reyes deputy, who cited NBA examples like Dennis Rodman for the Chicago Bulls in the mid to late 1990s championship seasons and Ron Artest for the Los Angeles in the Lakers’ 2010 title conquest.