A POSSIBLE return for free agent Willie Miller to the PBA failed to push through after he passed up on an offer given him by rookie ballclub Blackwater.
Blackwater alternate governor Wilbert Loa said the team had indeed talked to the two-time MVP about a possible stint with the expansion team, but said negotiations never got to first base.
According to Loa, Miller, 37, cited a possible conflict with his stint with the Siargao Legends team of which the former shooting guard out of Letran is under contract.
“Nag-usap na sila ni Dio (Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy) kahapon, pero di nagkasundo kasi naglalaro nga daw siya sa kabilang liga,” Loa told Spin.ph.
Since being left unsigned by Barako Bull at the end of his contract last August, the former Letran star has kept himself busy playing for the Legends, who are seeing action in the Marikina inter-barangay tournament Del League.
“Sabi ni Willie, nangako daw kasi siya sa team niya na ipapag-champion niya daw (ang Siargao) saka kapag naglaro na siya sa amin, di na siya makakalaro dun,” said Sy.
Agent Danny Espiritu, who represents Miller, said financial security had something to do with the failed negotiations, although he declined to go into detail.
“Iniwan ko na rin kasi sila nung nag-usap na sila ni Boss Dio kasama ni team manager Johnson Martinez. Eh siyempre, there were some monetary considerations, pero nag-text sa akin si Willie, na off daw muna ang usapan,” said Espiritu.
The Elite remain as the only winless team in the season-opening tournament after losing their first seven games, the last an 82-90 defeat at the hands of reigning champion Purefoods.
Blackwater still has a chance to make the playoffs with four games left to play in the single-round eliminations. Only two teams will be left out going into the playoffs.
Aside from Blackwater, fellow expansion team KIA Motors has also shown interest in Miller, who averaged 9.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 23 minutes of action for Barako Bull last season.