GARY David is not yet closing the door on the PBA despite serving as the face of the Bataan team set to see action in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
The 39-year-old veteran didn’t deny he’s been attending practices of Rain or Shine, and of late, GlobalPort in the hope of continuing his PBA career before getting a surprise call-up from the Defenders
KIA was the last team David played for in the PBA last season.
Incidentally, David's former coach with the Picanto, Chris Gavina, will be calling the shots for rivals Valenzuela Classic.
“Hindi pa naman,” was his curt reply on Monday when asked if he considers his PBA career finally over with his move to become the top gunner of Bataan.
While neither Globalport nor Rain or Shine had any hold on him, David was still courteous enough to let both teams know he’ll be trying his luck in the MPBL.
At the same time, he has a special arrangement with the owners of the Bataan franchise that management will allow him to make a PBA comeback if there's a team willing to sign him for the ongoing season.
“May usapan na kami na basta may call-up ako (sa PBA), ire-release nila ako,” said David, who hails from the Bataan municipality of Dinalupihan.
He considers his stint with the Defenders as two-way.
“At least yung ibang (PBA) teams kung makita nilang OK pa rin akong maglaro, or andun pa yung appeal ko sa paglalaro, at least yung opportunity mabubuksan din na makabalik ulit ako sa PBA,” said David.
“But as of now, gusto ko makatulong muna dito sa Maharlika na makilala at umunlad para sa mga batang players natin,” he added. “Kasi ang daming mga players na nagba-bakasakali sa PBA pero hindi naman nakakaabot. At least pag ito nag-boom, mabibigyan ng trabaho yung mga players.”
The four-time PBA scoring champion though, is tempering expectations on the Defenders, especially since he’s the only known player in a roster made up of mostly of personalities coming from Bataan.
“Puro homegrown talent talaga kami, puro mga taga-Bataan ito,” he said of his new team.
“Kaya yun ang challenge sa amin,” David added. “Biglaan yung pagbubuo kaya parang nasa transition kami ngayon, so yung expectations hindi gaano (mataas). Pero lalaban at lalaban kami.”
The inaugural season of the MPBL kicks off this Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with the lone game pitting Paranaque against Caloocan.