FAR Eastern University and Fruitas head coach Nash Racela defended the Tamaraws’ move to bar Terrence Romeo from suiting up for Big Chill in the PBA D-League on Thursday.
Racela spoke to reporters to clarify the issue concerning the star guard, who he said violated an instruction by FEU not to sign with any D-League teams for the Foundation Cup so as to allow the Tamaraws to concentrate fully on their preparation for the coming UAAP season.
The Morayta-based school’s preparations for the next collegiate season include a stint in the D-League in a tie-up with Fruitas.
Racela also stressed that Romeo was given a reprieve after continuing his stint with Big Chill, on the condition that he will prioritize FEU practices and will not play for Big Chill against Fruitas since practices of the Tamaraws and the Shakers are held at the same time.
The Shakers and Superchargers clashed Thursday, with Fruitas prevailing, 83-75.
“May instruction sa players not to sign with any D-League teams, na kinontra ni Terrence. Nakiusap siya because he wants to play for FEU, so I gave him a chance with conditions,” said Racela.
The FEU coach clarified they are not hindering Romeo from playing for Big Chill as the condition set was only meant to teach the combo guard a lesson after making a commitment with his UAAP team.
“The reason why I don’t want (him) to play with them is because I want him to learn to follow and be true to his commitment," the FEU coach said.
“If he says something na gagawin niya, gawin niya. We are teaching these kids something dahil hindi naman niya kami kasama sa pagtanda niya.
“I know it’s the best for him kung maglalaro siya. But at least for this game, I want him to be true to his word.”
The young coach remained mum on whether Romeo will be allowed to play for Big Chill if the two teams meet again in the playoffs.
“Maybe they can play, maybe hindi. It all depends on them on how they respond and how they change. If they say that they are really committed, dapat gawin nila yung sasabihin nila,” said Racela.
RR Garcia also agreed to the same conditions by FEU after the former UAAP MVP signed with NLEX.
Racela admitted Garcia and Romeo suiting up for other teams in D-League is affecting the Tamaraws’ preparation for the UAAP.
“’Yung programa ng FEU nade-delay na. Hindi kami maka-usad. They were unfair to their teammates na nag-commit at ginawa nila (not to sign up with any D-League team). Ngayon, if they really want to play (for FEU), these are my conditions for you to be fair, not to me but to FEU,” he stressed.