Mahindra the likely destination for Gary David, but several issues hinder deal
Gary David has played his last game with Meralco, says a source. Jaime Campos

BY now, it is clear that Gary David has played his last game for Meralco after a rant over playing time led to the veteran gunner being suspended for one game - and later relegated to the unrestricted free agent list.

So where is he headed?

A source bared the former PBA scoring champion is likely headed to Mahindra, which, he said, is the only team that has shown willingness to strike deal for David since the controversy with Meralco erupted.

Despite its pronouncements, Blackwater has made no move to acquire David, a source added. 

“It’s only a matter of time bago malipat yan,” said the source who requested anonymity. 

“Willing 'yung management ng Mahindra na makuha si David kasi even before lumabas yung alingasngas (release from Meralco), target na talaga siya ng Mahindra,” he added.

[See Waiting game for David as free agent's camp in no rush to strike deal]

Although an unrestricted free agent can sign with any team, there are still several obstacles to David's transfer to Mahindra, primarily the one-year maximum deal he signed with Meralco that won't end until the end of the current season.

The easiest path for David is if he can convince Meralco to buy out his contract, which would allow him to move to Mahindra and sign for a smaller salary which the young ballclub can afford.

However, there are serious doubts if Meralco is willing to do that, especially under the circumstances that soured the relationship between the player and the team.

Without a buyout, Mahindra, sources said, isn't too willing to assume David's maximum deal and may have to negotiate a compromise with Meralco on the terms of the player's transfer.

According to insiders, Meralco is willing to work out a deal for the sake of David but Mahindra management hasn't made any offer worth considering for the Bolts.

Another obstacle to the deal being sealed soon is the fact that Meralco and Mahindra will be meeting on April 3, and the Bolts certainly do not relish the thought of David playing against them in his Mahindra debut.

But if a deal with Mahindra fails to push through, it is highly unlikely that David will play another game in a Meralco uniform, even if the team is mandated to pay his salary the rest of the season.

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