Fans of Matthew Wright and Jason Brickman will have to wait a little bit longer as the Fil-foreign studs opted to forego a chance to play this upcoming 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
Blustar Detergent coach Ariel Vanguardia bared the development, saying that the Fil-Canadian Wright, who was last season’s ABL Heritage MVP, and Fil-Am Brickman are both considering a stint in Europe.
“Yes, di na sila makakalaro. They are mulling offers to play in Europe,” he said.
Without the reinforcements, Reggie Johnson and Calvin Godfrey, both of whom are pivotal pieces in Westports Malaysia Dragons’ ABL championship run, Vanguardia sought Blackwater for help and said that the Elite would lend two players to bolster his crew for the 2016 Foundation Cup, set to start on June 2.
“We’ll get two players from Blackwater instead,” he added.
Blackwater team manager Johnson Martines said that the Elite have yet to pinpoint the players they will lend to Blustar Detergent. “We will discuss pa sa mga coaches and maybe, sa Malaysia pa namin yan pagusapan,” he said.
Though Blackwater did not drop names, newly acquired guard Roi Sumang emerges as one of the strong candidates to join the Dragons core in the developmental league.
The former UE Red Warrior is coming off of a three-team trade that saw GlobalPort sending him to Mahindra before being traded anew to Blackwater. The PBA rookie recently saw action for Blustar Detergent in a tuneup game against the SEABA Cup-bound Gilas cadets last week.
Regardless on who he gets, Vanguardia will still bank on his all-Malaysian crew, led by Loh Shee Fai and Mah Chee Kheun. He hopes that this core will be enough to contend in what is seen as a lean race to the championship this conference.
“It will be tough, but our number one goal is to develop the Malaysian locals for this D-League stint,” he said. “Hopefully, we can offer a different kind of play and give the D-League teams a scare.”
Cover photo courtesy of ABL Images