THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY | Pasig Pirates move on after failed bid to get stars

Special Olympics athlete Matthew Millett of Team USA with the 3/4 court buzzer beater!

PASIG was one of the busiest teams in the off season, negotiating with potential key players that could help the team’s campaign in the coming season.

From top gun Gary David, PBA champion Leo Najorda, to big man Jericho de Guzman, now the tallest player in the MPBL, all the way to the energetic Mon Mabayo and veteran guard Leo Avenido, the Pirates appeared to be dead serious in forming a title contender.

All negotiations bogged down as these players were found headed elsewhere.

James Ong Machate, the amiable coach and manager of the Pirates, told FOX Sports Philippines the problem why these players ended up with different teams.

“More on monetary talaga,” wrote Machate in an exclusive online interview. “Kapag sinabi na nila yung offer nung kabila, I left them go. But I don’t take it negatively. Madaming nawala. Hindi lang siguro talaga matapat. Madalas nga naba-bash ako, pero ganun talaga. We want to show to everyone that we can still win.”

Instead, Machate is going over on what he has at the moment and at this time, the team is built around former Letran stalwarts Boyet Bautista, Kojak Melegrito and Jonathan Aldave.

Bautista briefly played for Purefoods in the PBA and is now an enlisted personnel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Melegrito is another guard who could share the backcourt with Bautista.

Aldave is a forward who’s also been part of Letran’s champion squad in the NCAA under Louie Alas more than a decade ago and will become the focal point of the team’s offense along with Kenneth Carongoy, a standout from Colegio de San Lorenzo.