THE one-week respite from the PBA Commissioner’s Cup games gives Talk `N Text enough leeway to burn the lines in its bid to find a swift replacement for Donelle Harvey.
Team manager Aboy Castro said he already had a list of possible replacements for Harvey, but would rather not preempt the negotiations as the Tropang Texters are not going to play until Sunday when they go up against the streaking Barangay Ginebra Kings.
The team last saw action on Saturday in Iloilo City against Globalport in a game the telecommunication franchise won, 94-84.
“May shortlist na kami, pero hindi muna namin ilalabas kasi baka may iba pa diyang teams na nag-iisip ring mag-palit ng imports,” said Castro.
The win over the Batang Pier was also Harvey’s final game for Talk `N Text as he left for the US on Sunday night to attend to his family who figured in a freak car accident in Atlanta on the morning of the team’s game in Iloilo.
“He found out that his family got involved in a vehicular accident back in Atlanta. Of course, he was concerned with the safety of his family,” said Castro, who disclosed he had to plead with Harvey to just stay focused during the Tropang Texters’ game against the Batang Pier.
“The (accident) was on his mind when he was preparing for the game, so we just asked him to continue playing and just make sure that he was focused on the game,” added Castro.
Although Harvey tried his best to stay focused, he finished with only six points but had 14 rebounds in what proved to be his final game for the team.
After the win, Harvey again approached team management to allow him to be with his family.
Harvey’s agent, Sheryl Reyes, said the import was very emotionally affected by what happened to his family, especially his kids.
“He is sad to go home, but he needed to make a tough decision,” said Reyes, who added Harvey’s family is now out of danger.
Talk `N Text chief gunner Jimmy Alapag and the rest of the team were obviously surprised by the sudden turn of events, especially coming a week after talented wingman Kelly Williams had to take an indefinite leave of absence from basketball due to a recurring illness.
“So we’ll have to see who our new import will be,” said Alapag. “This is definitely another setback, you lose a skilled player like Donelle Harvey. It’s a tough loss.”