A TOP Mahindra team official said he regrets not being able to keep Alex Nuyles as well as the team's other free agents, saying top management has the final say in the decisions.
Nuyles aired his dismay on social media over the weekend, revealing that he signed a new contract with the Enforcers on short notice only to find out later that it was invalid.
“I guess no more PBA games for me this year? Tsk tsk tsk...Missing my old team. :(,“ read the caption on Nuyles’ Instagram post with him wearing a Rain or Shine jersey.
In a separate tweet last September 17, the incoming junior wingman posted on Twitter: “Sa tubig ba ako pumirma? Bakit hanggang ngayon wala pang sahod!!!”
Enforcers manager Eric Pineda explained the switch from Kia to Mahinda also entailed a change in a new head of basketball operations who he said made the decision not to sign Nuyles.
Pineda said the contract Nuyles signed was not yet signed by a counterpart from management, allowing the team the opening to drop the former first-round pick when it had a change of heart.
“Players sign contracts before management signs,” Pineda explained on Tuesday after the Enforcers' tune-up game against Rain or Shine.
“(And with the change of basketball operations) lahat ng mga contracts na pinirmahan ng mga players naka-hold at binago lahat. They had a say kung sino ang gusto nilang players and hindi nila gusto 'yung pinakita ni Alex that time and they didn't want to sign him.”
“Recommendatory lang kami lahat. Nasa kanila kung sino ang gusto nilang i-sign up,” Pineda added.
Nuyles, whose one-year contract expired on August 31, was among those whose contracts were not extended along with Hans Thiele, Jason Deutchman, Virgil Buensuceso, Leo Avenido, and JR Cawaling.
“We tried to look for a team for Alex through trades but we were unsuccessful with the negotiations,” Pineda continued. “We wanted kahit picks sana pero wala kaming nakuha. It's the prerogative of the management din.”
Nuyles tried out for NLEX for two weeks, but Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez could not find a spot for him.
“No question about it, he’s a PBA talent,” Fernandez said of the former Adamson star. “Pero as of now, talagang loaded kami sa wings.”
“Sayang naman yung talent ni Alex kung hindi rin namin mabibigyan ng oras,” he added.