KIA has yet to tender formal offers to the players it picked up from the PBA dispersal pool, and issues about the contract details have caused sleepless nights for former Ateneo guard Jai Reyes.
Reyes was picked by Kia in the last expansion draft, but talks about contracts going as short as six months as well as "unusual, results-based" clauses have raised concerns for the former Talk 'N Text guard.
“Parang gusto nila (Kia management) dito six months na contract," Reyes told Spin.ph. "Then, ang gusto nila kung ano ang UPC (uniform player’s contract) mo sa previous team you played for, 'yun lang ang isa-sign nila.
"And then they want to see results,” Reyes added.
The former Ateneo playmaker has showed up at least four times at Kia’s practice, though there’s no guarantee he’ll make the team’s regular roster at this point.
Aside from Reyes, other dispersal draft picks who have showed up at Kia’s practice include Nic Belasco, Hans Thiele, Paul Sanga, LA Revilla, Richard Alonzo, Eder Saldua and Joshua Webb.
“Wala pa (contract offer). May feelers pero walang formal contract so I’m willing to let (agent) Sheryl (Reyes) do her job na lang,” Reyes said, referring to the lady player agent who also handles the PBA careers of Asi Taulava and Willie Miller, among others.
While Reyes’ contract with Talk ’N Text expires on August 31, he is left to wonder how much longer the 23 other free agent aspirants at Kia will have to wait for a contract offer.
“Ang hirap ng ganun, kaya yun ang wino-work out ni Sheryl na magkaroon naman ng stable na contract, kasi ang hirap ng ganun na parang di ka makatulog sa gabi,” he said.
The 5-foot-9 Reyes played behind Gilas Pilipinas mainstays Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag in a crowded Talk ’N Text backcourt last season, but the former PCCL Finals MVP is determined to prove that he can compete head on with the PBA’s established guards.
Reyes, a vital cog in Ateneo’s two UAAP championships in 2008 and 2009, added that he’s willing to go through the birth pains expansion teams normally go through.
Before joining Talk ‘N Text late last year, Reyes played in the ABL (Asean Basketball League) for the Bangkok Cobras in 2011, where he was coached by Kobe Bryant’s father Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant, and the Saigon Heat.