Josh Urbiztondo sighted at GlobalPort, but PBA rule on Fil-foreigners appears to hinder deal
Josh Urbiztondo has been practicing with GlobalPort for the past two weeks. Jaime Campos

VETERAN Fil-Am Josh Urbiztondo is now practicing with Globalport, although he has yet to be formally signed by the franchise to a contract.

The 33-year-old Urbiztondo, an unrestricted free agent, has been joining the Batang Pier in practice for the second straight week now at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong, a SPIN.ph source said.

A PBA rule prohibiting a team from having more than six Fil-Ams in its roster is what’s keeping Globalport from tapping the services of the eight-year guard from San Francisco, California.

“Mag-o-over kasi sa Fil-Ams yung team kaya wala pang concrete decision if he’ll be given a slot,” said a source who has knowledge about the team’s movement.

At present, the Batang Pier already have five Fil-ams in its regular lineup, namely Stanley Pringle, Mick Pennisi, Karl Dehesa, Mike Cortez, and Anthony Semerad.

The Batang Pier have only commissioned a 14-man list, one-less player as mandated by the league. The team earlier put slam-dunk champion Rey Guevarra on the unrestricted free agent list, paving the way for his move at Mahindra.

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So far, Globalport has been off to a rousing start in the season-opening Philippine Cup, where it has won its first two outings to take the solo lead. The Batang Pier are the only unbeaten team in the tournament going to their match-up against winless Alaska on Wednesday.

Urbiztondo wasn’t offered a contract extension by Phoenix by the end of last season. Previously, he had stints with Barako Bull, Barangay Ginebra, Air21, Sta. Lucia, and B-Meg (Star), where he won a championship during the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup.

He was left out during the 2009 Rookie Draft, but signed by Sta. Lucia the following year as a free agent. 

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