THEY’RE both included in the team line-up and still eligible to play for a few games, but college stars Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia are both foregoing their final season in the PBA Developmental League.
The two UAAP Most Valuable Players made themselves available in this year’s PBA Draft set Nov. 3 yet, giving them at least two more weeks to still play in the D-League Aspirants Cup that kicks off Thursday at the Ynares Arena in Pasig.
But management of both NLEX and Big Chill announced both Far Eastern University stalwarts will no longer be suiting up for their respective teams in the season-opening conference.
“Actually hindi na applicable si Terrence na maglaro sa amin dahil Nov, 4 ang first game namin, which by that time tapos na ang Draft. May idea na kami kung saan team siya maglalaro sa PBA,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison.
The same is the case with Garcia as the NLEX Road Warriors are scheduled to play their first game in Nov. 18, a day after the season-opening Philippine Cup formally unfurls.
“Si RR hindi na talaga maglalaro sa amin, nag-paalam na rin naman siya ng maayos sa management,” said NLEX assistant coach Adonis Tierra.
It’s not the same thing as in the case of Blackwater and Café France.
Elite coach Leo Isaac said until Blackwater players Justin Chua, Rob Celiz, Isaac Holstein, and Joseph Marata get to sign a contract with the PBA team that drafted them, they can still play with the team.
“Until they get signed up, they’re still allowed to play in the D-League,” he said.
The Bakers meanwhile, have four players who applied in the draft, namely Mike Parala, Chris Exciminiano, Jens Knuttel and Eliud Poligrates.
“We’re taking the risk of letting them play first,” said Café France assistant coach June Tiongco.
Café France plays its first game on opening day against Cagayan Valley, while Blackwater opens its bid for a back-to-back title on Nov. 4 against highly-touted rookie Chris Banchero and Boracay Rum.