ROOKIE Andreas Cahilig has left Globalport even ahead of disgruntled star Terrence Romeo.
The Fil-Swiss center was acquired by the KIA Picanto from the unrestricted free agent list this week after spending the entire Philippine Cup on the Batang Pier’s inactive list.
He was picked by Globalport in the second round (24th overall) of last year’s PBA Draft.
The parting of ways came amid talk of an impending trade being worked out by the Batang Pier and the TnT Katropa involving the 25-year-old Romeo, who got involved in an infamous shouting match with coach Pido Jarencio during the Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.
KIA management said the 6-foot-6 Cahilig, whose family hails from Aklan, is definitely a welcome addition to the team’s frontcourt currently being manned by JR Reyes and Eric Camson.
“He can help the team compensate in height especially this coming import-laden conference (Commissioner's Cup),” said assistant team manager Dr. Iby Bautista.
After acquiring Carlo Lastimosa late in the all-Filipino conference, team manager Joe Lipa disclosed the team is still lacking the services of a point guard and a back-up big man.
Cahilig was anticipated to become a late first-round pick or early second-round selection prior to the draft after playing very well for Cignal-San Beda in the PBA D-League, where he was part of the Hawkeyes’ back-to-back championship team last season.
Unfortunately, he sustained a left hamstring injury while doing the sprint on the first day of the rookie draft combine, which he believed led to his being picked late in the second round.
Despite still recuperating from the injury, Globalport gambled on him and signed him to a contract prior to the start of the league’s 43rd season.
Ironically, former KIA coach Chris Gavina once admitted having interest in getting Cahilig’s services and was actually one of the players on his radar when he coached one of the teams which saw action during the draft combine.