Alex Mallari signs new Star contract, and Webb says he doesn't want to lose him
Alex Mallari has been signed to a new deal by Star, but terms were not disclosed.

ALEX Mallari appears to be going nowhere.

Star coach Jason Webb has confirmed the Hotshots have re-signed the rising star to a new contract, momentarily dousing trade rumors that have been making the rounds.

“We’re just happy that he’s coming back,” Webb told on Thursday, although declining to divulge the terms of the contract. “He doesn’t have to worry about the dollars and cents of it all.”

Webb said there was never any trade negotiation involving Mallari, a lefty wingman who has blossomed under former coach Tim Cone — other than the ones being rumored.

“Dun ko lang nababasa yung trade rumors sa newspapers.”

A sign-and-trade deal, however, still remains a possibility amid rumors about Mallari transferring to Ginebra to reunite with Cone.

“We would not want to lose him,” Webb said, expecting to see Mallari and the rest of his wards on Monday when they officially return to practice, a day after the rookie draft.

[See Will Cone bring along Mallari to Ginebra? We pop the question]

One movement that is sure to come is the Hotshots’ draft selection at No. 8.

“Pipiliin na lang namin kung ano yung mga tira-tira ‘dun,” he said with a chuckled before turning serious, reiterating his desire to choose the best talent available. “Right now, we don’t have a glaring need.”

Webb, though, would’ve wanted to have seen the injured standouts in action when he scouted for prospects in the Draft Combine on Thursday.

“I think there are a lot of guys that are going to fall in the first round that aren’t here,” he said, although not mentioning the names of Scottie Thompson, Baser Amer, Garvo Lanete, and Art dela Cruz.

“Yun lang yung masakit kasi hindi namin sila ma-gauge kumpara dun sa iba.”

[See Cone admits trade talks ongoing as he prepares to begin reign at Ginebra]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos