PETRON Blaze’s hopes of landing former Cleveland Cavalier forward Samardo Samuels hit a snag on Thursday, leaving the Boosters with no choice but to play all-Filipino come Saturday when they play Rain or Shine in Panabo, Davao del Norte in a PBA Commissioner's Cup road game.
“Di na tuloy si Samuels. Mataas masyado ang presyo, parang doble babayaran, buyout ng (NBA D-League) contract tapos sweldo pa niya dito,” Calma told Spin.ph on Thursday.
The Boosters were hoping to sign Samuels on short notice after the departure of temperamental import Renaldo Balkman, who was banned for life from the pro league for his attack on teammate Arwind Santos near the end of Petron's loss to Alaska on Friday night.
Samuels played a total of 109 games for the Cavaliers from 2010-2011 to the 2012-2013 season, averaging 5.9 points and 3.4 rebounds. He recently played for the Reno Big Horns in the NBA D-League, averaging 20.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 blocks in 21 games.
Calma said they are now sending an offer to alternate choice Rodney White, who played five games for the Barako Bull in the Commissioner’s Cup last season in a stint that was cut short as he had to attend to his ailing father back home.
“Hopefully, bukas may balita na kami pero sure na all-Filipino kami sa Saturday,” Calma said.
Calma, a member of the league's 25 greatest players, said the team hopes to have an import in town as early as possible as it tackles its toughest stretch to date. After the Rain or Shine match, Petron will play Talk ‘N Text on March 22, followed by a rematch with Alaska on March 27.