JOURNEYMAN guard Rudy Lingganay crosses paths with KIA Motors on Sunday afternoon, just a week after being quietly dumped by Manny Pacquiao's expansion PBA team amid accusations of game-fixing.
The newly acquired NLEX guard admitted he left KIA with a heavy heart, especially with rumors floating around of his supposed involvement in game-fixing shortly after a bad performance in the Sorento's 71-87 drubbing at the hands of Barako Bull last November 16.
To this day, the 28-year-old player said he has yet to be given an explanation as to why he was axed but maintains that his conscience is clear.
“Feeling ko may naninira sa amin ni Hans (Thiele) kasi dun sa importanteng laro namin against Barako Bull, nagkataon na masama laro namin,” Lingganay confided to Spin.ph, shortly after NLEX’s practice on Saturday.
"Eh nagulat na lang kami na after that, nilagay kami sa unrestricted list."
Lingganay, one of the most reliable players in KIA's first five games with averages of 9.8 points, 2.8 assists and 2.4 assists, only scored three points after playing just seven minutes in the game against Barako.
Upon learning about the revamp that made him an unrestricted free agent, the Zamboanga City native said he tried to clear things with KIA’s lead assistant coach Glen Capacio.
“Ang sabi lang sa akin ni coach, 'yung dalawang managers daw ang nag-desisyon na ilagay kaming dalawa ni Hans sa unrestricted (list),” said Lingganay, referring to Eric Pineda and Jo Ramos.
When NLEX showed interest in acquiring Lingganay, KIA management placed the left-handed playmaker back to the reserve list before agreeing to trade the 28-year-old guard for Eliud Poligrates on November 27.
Now the former University of the East standout, who has been activated by NLEX last Monday in lieu of Borgie Hermida, will be facing his former team on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Despite the controversial circumstances surrounding his departure from KIA, Lingganay said he harbors no ill feeling towards the Sorento, saying he has learned to approach trades in a professional way.
“Basta maging professional lang ako pag nagharap kami ng KIA. Wala naman akong galit sa kanila (KIA management). Malinis naman ang konsiyensya natin. Ngayon, maglalaro na lang ako para manalo ang NLEX,” he said.