ALASKA rookie sensation Calvin Abueva and teammate Gabby Espinas on Wednesday apologized in writing to the PBA for playing in an exhibition game in Sta. Maria, Bulacan recently in violation of the Uniform Player’s Contract (UPC).
Both were asked last week by PBA commissioner Chito Salud for a written explanation why they “should not be penalized for breaching their UPCs.”
An apologetic Abueva explained that he decided to play in an exhibition game upon the invitation of his cousin and noted that he was unaware of provisions in his contract that prohibits him from doing so.
"Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa aking paglalaro sa isang liga sa Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Mayroon po akong pinsan doon, na siyang nag-anyaya sa akin upang maglaro bilang guest player at magbigay ng kasiyahan sa mga tao," said the contrite former NCAA MVP.
“Sa aking pagkakaalam pwede pong maglaro sa maliliit na liga pag offseason. Ngunit ngayon po ay alam ko na, na hindi pwede, at pinapangako ko po na hindi na mauulit ang ganitong pangyayari. Salamat po,” explained the 6-foot-1 Alaska rookie forward.
In an identical statement, the 6’4” Espinas wrote that he only played in the same exhibition game in Sta. Maria, Bulacan on Abueva’s request to play with him and entertain the Bulakenos.
"Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa aking paglalaro sa isang liga sa Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Inimbitahan po ako ni Calvin Abueva na maglaro at magbigay kasiyahan sa mga tao doon. At dahil offseason, at siya'y aking teammate, napagpasyahan ko po na siya'y pagbigyan.
“Gayunpaman, ako po ay humihingi ng tawad sa inyo at sa buong PBA organization at ipinapangako na hindi na po mauulit ang ganitong pangyayari. Salamat po,” said Espinas.
Salud has yet to issue an official statement on whether he will penalize the two Alaska players for violating Article 10 of their contracts which precisely prohibit players from suiting up in other leagues without the team and PBA's consent.
Salud, however, already said in a recent interview with Spin.ph that the provision at the UPC “does not inhibit them from earning extra money, rather to protect them against undue and unnecessary risk of injury."