Why is Alex Nuyles' name missing from Mahindra lineup? Coach Victolero explains
Alex Nuyles' name was curiously missing from the initial 14-man lineup submitted by Mahindra to the PBA, meaning he is either a reserve or a 'practice player' in the team. Jaime Campos

AFTER a battle for his contract, Alex Nuyles is now fighting for his position.

The name of the three-year pro who was recently involved in a contract dispute with Mahindra management was curiously missing from the Enforcers’ lineup that was released during the press launch on Tuesday.

Also not on the list were the names of rookie acquisitions Bradwyn Guinto and Leo de Vera,

Asked about Nuyles, who has settled his contract dispute with Mahindra, head coach Chito Victolero said the former Adamson star has a chance to earn his spot in the regular roster.

“'Yun lang mga hindi nakasama dun, it’s either reserve player or practice player,” Victolero told Spin.ph on Wednesday. “But they have a chance also na ma-activate din. It’s a long season.”

[See Nuyles apologizes for 'miscommunication' after contract row settled]

Victolero, who said he has 19 players in his lineup, pointed out that Nuyles, a regular part of the rotation last year, has only returned to practice recently.

“Kakapunta lang niya. Ilang days pa lang, pero nage-ensayo na.”

The Mahindra coach explained the submitted roster was just “initial” and will be finalized within the week before Mahindra opens its campaign on Wednesday against Barako Bull.

The provisional 14-man lineup included Aldrech Ramos, LA Revilla, Karl Dehesa, Niño Canaleta, Joshua Webb, Eddie Laure, Paulo Hubalde, Papot Paredes, Rich Alvarez, John Pinto, Kyle Pascual, Mark Yee, and Hyram Bagatsing, while playing-coach Manny Pacquiao was listed in the reserve/injured list.

Victolero said their top rookie pick Guinto, though, has already signed a contract and is expected to make the final roster at the end of his tour of duty with San Sebastian.

“Every now and then pinapapunta na rin namin si Bradwyn para makita niya yung ginagawa namin,” he said of the 6-foot-5 slotman. “Now, nakapag-full practice na siya kasi tapos na NC.”

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Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos