THE D-League tug-of-war for the services of rising star Mac Belo is far from over.
With Far Eastern University not having a tie-up with any of the teams competing in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup kicking off on March 12, Tanduay Light is hoping to avail of the services of the Tamaraws star who it had picked in the draft and signed to a contract.
“Sana naman i-honor na niya ang contract niya with us. We are reaching out to him to do the right thing,” said Rhum Masters coach Lawrence Chongson.
“Let’s make it clear ha, hindi kami galit kay Mac. He didn’t play for us last conference kasi he opted to honor his obligation with FEU, which has a partner team in the D-League,” he added.
Chongson said Tanduay gave way and allowed Belo to play for the FEU-MJM Builders last conference, buthopes the player will honor the contract he signed with the Rhum Masters this time around.
“Sana lang he plays for us para wala na ring samaan ng loob and for FEU, sana naman they will guide the player to honor a contract," he said. "I acknowledged na wala silang kinalalaman sa pagpirma ni Belo sa amin, and now that alam na ng lahat, alam na nila, sana i-guide na nila yung mga bata to honor their respective contracts."
"Kasi dito parang lumalabas worthless pala contract ni Belo, ano 'yun written in water lang?" he added.
But there is one problem for Chongson and Tanduay: the rights of Belo has yet to be released by MJM Builders - information later confirmed by D-League tournament supervisor Eric Castro.
The sweet-shooting forward, according to team insiders, has also been advised to focus on the Tamaraws' campaign in the coming UAAP season.
“Wala pa ring release si Mac eh. And besides, from the teams coming in, walang nag signify ng intention to include Belo in the roster,” said Castro.
Belo's name didn't turn up in a check done by Spin.ph on the early lineups submitted by the 10 participating teams including Tanduay Light.
The Bong Tan-supported ballclub has only listed Edwin Escueta, AJ Mandani, Shej Roi Sumang, Sandy Cenal, Gino Jumao-As, Adrian Santos, Joseph Eriobu, Raymund Ilagan, Lucas Tagarda, Jaypee Belencion, Robin Rono, John Foronda and Aljon Mariano.
However, Chongson said no team can put Belo in its lineup without FEU's blessing.
“Eh paano naming kukunin, naka-antay kami sa kanila. They know na nasa amin ang rights n'yan. Alam naman ng lahat. Kung hindi lalaro ang FEU sa D-League, dapat automatic sa amin 'yan,” he said.
Chongson pleaded with FEU to allow Belo to suit up for Tanduay since the D-League campaign will not clash with the coming UAAP season.
“March pa naman ang opening ng D-League so by June tapos na 'yun. Tapos UAAP matagal pa, so walang conflict run,” he said.