AFTER successfully signing NCAA champion coach Aldin Ayo from Letran, it looks like De La Salle now has a chance to get Mapua star Allwell Oraeme.
A player from the Cardinals who requested anonymity confirmed the Nigerian slotman, who won the league MVP award in his rookie year, texted his teammates a message that goes, "I am considering to transfer to La Salle."
Contacted for comment, Mapua coach Atoy Co refused to reveal the school which he claimed is trying to poach his top player but insisted that at the moment, Oraeme is still with the Cardinals.
The PBA legend, however, bared that an investigation he conducted confirmed the text message from Oraeme.
"Nag-text siya sa player. Ayaw ko na lang sabihin kung ano ang laman. Pero it seems may mga nakausap na nga talaga siya (na ibang school)," said Co.
The former PBA MVP then dropped a hint.
"Ayaw kong sabihin kung anong team (ang pursigido kay Allwell). Basta kung tatanungin mo ko, green o blue lang sasabihin ko sa 'yo," said Co of the report that first came out on philstar.com.
Co bared Oraeme has denied talking to another school about a move, but he has nonetheless tasked team management to handle the situation.
"Actually, ayaw niyang aminin sa akin na nakausap na niya. Pero para sa akin, para magsalita ka na, 'I am considering,' may nakausap ka na. Bakit mo sasabihin yung linya na 'yun kung wala ka pang nakaka-usap," he added.
Co trained his gun at some collegiate teams who he claimed pirate players from other schools.
"Mali nga 'yun eh kasi nasisira ang sistema eh. Dinadaan sa pera, may pagkakataon naman din kasi na may mga bagay na hindi nakukuha sa pera," he said
"Dapat nagde-develop ka, hindi yung bumibili ka," said Co.
The former Crispa star revealed how hard he worked to develop Oraeme, who he said was a raw talent when the lanky center arrived in the country two years ago.
"Nirekomenda sa amin 'yan nung kaibigan kong Amerikano. Nung dumating sa amin dati 'yan, hindi pa ganyan ang laro niyan. Dinevelop ko lang yan habang nagrer-esidency siya," he said.
"Dine-develop ko pa nga 'yan hanggang ngayon eh!"
As it is, Oraeme could be a major asset to any team that gets him. He averaged 16.3 points, 20.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game last season to scoop up MVP, Rookie of the Year, Mythical Five, Defensive Player of the Year and All-Defensive team honors.
La Salle will parade sensational Cameroonian Ben Mbala in next year's UAAP campaign.