BARAKO Bull import prospect Dwayne Chism said sorry to the team on Saturday after he was forced to leave even before he could make his PBA debut owing to a contractual dispute with his former club in Hungary.
The 6-7 Chism had been practicing for days with Barako Bull and had already played one tune-up game before the ballclub was informed that the import failed to secure a release from his former team in Hungary - a detail his American agent failed to relay to Energy officials.
The former Tennesse Volunteer, who was to leave the country on Saturday night, expressed sadness over the development, saying he was already looking forward to playing in the PBA.
“Thanks for the opportunity to show you my game. I’m really sorry about the release situation. I didn’t know they will do that. Again, thank you for the opportunity and I wish you the best of luck in the conference,” said Chism in his letter to Barako Bull bosses.
Chism’s case was relayed to Barako Bull by the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), which was advised by Fiba about the situation through an official communication written by Fiba Sports and Development assistant Javier Deshayes Lopez.
“We would appreciate if you could please kindly inform your team (Barako Bull) that the player (Devon Dwayne Chism) immediately liaise with his former team to clarify his contractual status. Otherwise when the next conference starts, the player might not be eligible to play in the Philippines," Lopez wrote.
"We strongly suggest that his status be clarified immediately as the player is currently facing disciplinary sanctions.”
The PBA requires all imports playing to secure a clearance from the leagues they previously played in, to comply with rules of world governing body Fiba.
“Upon investigation and confirmation with his American agent, Mr. Chism has indeed some contractual obligations to settle with his former team in Hungary. It is unfortunate, that the said agent did not disclose this problem during our negotiation,” said Barako Bull team manager Raffy Casyao.
“He made us believe that the release and transfer of Mr. Chism to our team will be smooth,” added the amiable team official.
Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos said they have no other recourse but to look for another import, days after his team walloped the defending champion Alaska Aces, 94-89 in tune-up last Thursday.
“Wala na kaming magagawa. Ganyan talaga, kesa naman tayo pa ang ma-sanction ng Fiba. Anyway, lagi naman kaming may contingency for developments like this,” said Ramos, who led the Energy to a sixth-place finish in the Philippine Cup.