TWO-time NCAA Most Valuable Player Allwell Oraeme hasn’t been seen in the world of sports since Mapua got eliminated by Arellano in September of 2016.
Speculations as to where the 6-foot-8 Nigerian is has then surfaced – and now there seems to be a concrete answer to where the powerhouse foreign reinforcement is.
According to Cardinals head coach Atoy Co, his prized recruit is in the United States right now, in Florida.
“January (2017), he begged off, nakikiusap kung pwede siya mag rest to heal yung mga legs niya, yung injury. I said we’ll see. Kung talagang di ka makaka-recover, I will let you rest. Pero hindi pala yun ang katotohanan eh,” said Co.
“May girlfriend, nabuntis, tamang tama, yung girlfriend American citizen, tiyaka I heard, nagwowork yung babae sa US Embassy, that’s why he was able to get a visa to the United States,” he added.
The most disappointing thing for Co is how Oraeme handled the whole situation, saying that they worked with him in good faith even after the 21-year old asked for a break.
Learning that Oraeme needed his passport to settle some important issues in Nigeria, the school released his passport which – according to them - was kept for safekeeping. But instead of heading back to his home country, Oraeme’s papers were already being processed for a visa which certainly caught the ire of Mapua.
“Nung kinukuha niya yung passport sa amin, kasi kailangan daw sa probinsya nila sa Nigeria kasi may binibili silang lupa doon, kailangan yung passport. Hindi naman sa tinatago yung passport, for safe keeping lang, kasi baka lang mawala. So in good faith, binigay namin,” Co explained.
“Yun pala, may inaayos na palang iba which is hindi namin alam. Tapos di na siya nakapaglaro sa amin. I consider that AWOL. Siyempre ang laking dagok nun sa amin.”
Co continued that there were times when Oraeme tried to come back in the country – negotiating his return to the country with some school officials.
That’s not an issue for the PBA legend, so long as he sees some eagerness on Oraeme’s end to make a comeback.
Sadly, he can’t seem to find that commitment from him.
“Meron siyang mga pasabi, hindi sa akin, pero nakakarating sa akin na may kinakausap siyang tao dito na gusto niyang bumalk. Kung gusto niya bumalik, wala namang problema. Alam kong kailangan ko siya sa team. Gusto pa niya, nagde-demand pa siya na kung pwede bayaran namin yung airfare. Sa akin walang problema yun, magkano lang ba airfare? Kahit personal kong pera kaya kong ibayad yun eh,” Co said.
“Kaya lang, kung willing ka bumalik, bumili ka ng sarili mong airfare para pakita mo in good gesture na willing ka bumalik. Hindi yung ikaw na umalis, yung pabalik ako pa yung magbibigay ng pang airfare? Ano yung commitment? Ang gulo niyang kausap. Una sa lahat, hindi makatotohanan yung sinabi niya sa amin e. Sabi niya magpapahinga daw, yun pala, may balak siyang iba.”