IT appears Mahindra and Blackwater are looking to take their act to the next level.
The two PBA expansion teams both signified interest to tap the services of veteran gunner Gary David in their bid to boost their playoffs chances in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.
According to sources, the Enforcers and specifically the Elite have already inquired about the availability of the 37-year-old wingman out of Lyceum, who was relegated to the unrestricted free agent list by Meralco.
Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy confirmed the team is looking at the possibility of adding David to its current roster.
“Trying to work on a win-win deal for Gary, Meralco, and Blackwater,” said the Blackwater executive prior to leaving for Vancouver. “Trying to help the situation especially for Gary, his career is at stake at this point in time.”
Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo said so far no team has talked to the Bolts management about acquiring the services of the disgruntled veteran, who found himself suspended for a game, and later on put on the unrestricted free agent list.
“Yes, as unrestricted free agent any team can pick him up. But so far we haven’t heard anything yet from any team,” said Trillo.
Being unrestricted free agent is not that easy as it appears on paper, according to the Meralco official.
“Siyempre, Gary also has the prerogative if he wants to play for the team (interested in him),” Trillo explained, adding that as far as he knows, an official offer to the player also has to be made and coursed through the PBA.
“I think the team that will get him has to renegotiate or come up with a new deal,” said the Meralco team manager.
David’s one-year contract with the Bolts is expiring at the end of the season. Sources said the former league scoring champion receives the monthly league maximum of P420,000 a month.
Blackwater and Mahindra are in the thick of the running for a playoff berth in the mid-season tournament and landing the services of David can definitely boost the hopes of either team.
Currently, the two ballclubs are tied in the middle of the pack with 3-4 (win-loss) slates along with Star, NLEX, and Tropang TNT heading into Friday’s games at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ironically, David will be serving his one-game suspension during the game between Meralco and Blackwater set at 4:15 p.m.
Danny Espiritu, who represents David, refused to confirm Blackwater or Mahindra’s interest in the former Gilas stalwart, but said his player is willing to suit up for any team that wants him.
“Of course, provided they (teams) are willing to assume Gary’s contract,” said the veteran players’ agent, who would rather not divulge the monthly salary of David.
With David serving his suspension, the Bolts reactivated Rey Guevarra. Trillo added the team couldn’t put the native of Orion, Bataan on the injury and reserved list since under league rules, a team can only put one player in the list, which big man Rabah Al-Husseini currently occupies.
After the game against Blackwater, Meralco won’t see action until April 3 yet when it plays Mahindra.
Trillo said management has yet to talk about its options in the event no team tries to sign up David by the time he will be reactivated into the active roster.
“It depends because we haven’t made any decision if and when dumating sa ganoong scenario,” he said.