AS the top basketball players’ agent in the country for a long time now, Danny Espiritu should have already made a lot in terms of financial bonuses he received from closing multi-million contract deals with different PBA teams.
While Espiritu maintained he doesn’t really have formal contracts with the close to 200 players retired and active under his wings, most of them likewise went out of their way to give the popular agent what is due him.
Now 74, Espiritu admitted albeit, reluctantly, having his fair share of financial windfall in the 35 years he’s been into the business, especially those given by players who are bestowed superstar status.
“Pag sinuswerte ka, pag may natulungan kang very dominant player, one deal yun, a, umaabot ng (milyon),” said the jolly players’ representative, who was the special guest in the pilot episode of SPIN.ph’s ZOOM In livecast.
So who were these PBA players generous enough to give Espiritu a huge extra after signing contracts with their respective mother ballclubs?
Boss Danny, as the man is fondly called within basketball circles, could think of at least three names.
“Isa si Kenneth Duremdes. One deal yun. Nagbayad siya sa akin ng P2.5 million out of his P48 (million) contract,” he said.
Espiritu of course, was referring to the eight-year, P48 million lucrative deal the former MVP signed with Alaska in 2001 that was borne out of the offer sheet made to the forward out of Adamson by Mobiline to the tune of P42 million contract in seven years.
Of the current batch of players he handles, TnT Tropang Giga top gunner Jayson Castro has been kind enough too, to reward his agent with a huge amount.
“Si Jayson Castro, nagbayad din ng milyon yan,” added Espiritu, who would rather not divulge the exact amount given to him.
It’s no secret the 34-year-old Castro, the two-time best point guard of Asia, remains as the highest-paid player for the flagship franchise of the Manny V. Pangilinan group, where he won a total of six championships, two Finals MVPs, and five Best Player of the Conference awards in his 12 years of playing for the franchise.
Incidentally, another former TnT player was included on the list by Espiritu.
“Naging pasaway lang, e. Pero malaki ang ibinigay sa akin nun. Si (Mac) Cardona,” he said.
Until his off-court troubles in recent years, Cardona, 39, was a primetime player in the PBA, winning a championship in the 2008-09 Philippine Cup, a Finals MVP, and a Best Player of the Conference award.
There are still a lot of players who had given him a fair of amount of monetary reward for all the help he extended them, but Duremdes and Co. are the ones lavish enough to reciprocate the work of the hardworking agent who first went to the business in 1987.
While the three players were special mentioned by Espiritu, he stressed that his affiliation with his players is not really all about money.
“We are not operating in terms of money. We are operating in terms of paano ka makakatulong sa players,” added Espiritu, whose youngest son Marvin is now also a top-notch agent as the other half of the Espiritu-Manotoc Basketball Management Philippines which he shared with current Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc.
“Nasa sa kanila (players) na yun. Hindi ako naniningil, hindi rin ako nagpapadala ng bill. Initiative na lang nila,” he added.
And the agent doesn’t mind either if he’s not paid for whatever help he had done.
“Secondary na yung mag-aabot sila. Kung hindi naman sila mag-abot, wala rin namang problema kasi wala naman akong kontrata sa kanila, e,” said Espiritu whose other big players in his stable include Scottie Thompson, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Troy Rosario, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Vic Manuel, JR Quinahan, Ian Sangalang, Calvin Abueva, Jio Jalalon, and Mark Caguioa, among others.