A FAR Eastern University official has denied that MJM Builders purposely benched Mac Belo in its first game in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup due to the threat of court action against him by Tanduay Light for alleged breach of contract.
FEU athletic director Mark Molina said Belo has been resting due to bone spurs in his foot that he sustained during the grueling UAAP Season 77, making him unavailable on Thursday for MJM Builders, which has a school tie-up with the Tamaraws this conference.
“He was advised to rest after the UAAP pero nag-practice na siya (with MJM Builders) last Saturday,” Molina told Spin.ph.
Tanduay Light has protested Belo’s inclusion in the MJM Builders squad, insisting that the FEU forward is in the final year of his two-year contract with the Rhum Masters.
Head coach Lawrence Chongson also said he is bent on suing Belo for breach of contract if he suits up for MJM Builders.
The PBA, however, has included Belo in the MJM Builders lineup after he signed a player membership form expressing his intent to play for the squad.
Incidentally, Tanduay Light will open its Aspirants Cup campaign against MJM Builders on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Molina declined to react to Chongson's threat for now but said he and Belo will air their side on the issue on Monday after their 4 p.m. game against the Rhum Masters.
Molina hinted that Belo will be available to play on Monday for the FEU-backed squad, saying it will be up to FEU and MJM Builders head coach Nash Racela to decide on whether to field Belo in the game against Tanduay Light or not.
“It’s now up to Nash,” said Molina.