TANDUAY Light has sent a formal letter asking the PBA Commissioner's Office to intervene on its behalf after losing its rights on draft pick Chris Newsome, who signed with new D-League team Hapee Toothpaste.
Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson said the team already submitted the letter Monday morning, insisting the league needs to step in and settle the dispute to ‘preserve the integrity’ of the rookie draft.
“Let’s just say the ball is in their court now,” said Chongson.
The rookie draft was instituted just last year in order to promote parity in the league. In previous seasons, teams can directly hire any player it wants.
The draft process, however, was put into question when the Asia Brewery franchise failed to sign Newsome within the five-day window allowed for teams to reach a deal with rookie players
Tanduay said it could not reach the Ateneo star during that same period.
Newsome was selected second overall by Tanduay Light in last month’s draft behind top pick Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa, who has signed an offer from the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns.
After the grace period lapsed, Newsome became a free agent under D-League rules and therefore became free to sign with Hapee Toothpaste days later.
Chongson, however, cried foul.
“Hopefully, the commissioner can see the light that this episode could do or undo future drafting exercises. Just to at least preserve the sanctity and integrity of the process,” said Chongson.
Newsome’s camp has denied any wrongdoing, claiming it didn’t receive any offer from Tanduay Light during the five-day window for giving token offers to draftees.