MANILA, Philippines - Ginebra forward Rudy Hatfield is out again after resurfacing from a long vacation and playing three conferences in his return stint with the Kings.
Hatfield bid the team goodbye after they came up short in their title quest in the PBA Fiesta Conference against the Talk n Text Tropang Texters, which took its second straight crown with a 4-2 series victory.
“It’s an agreement when he came back. We know he’s leaving after the second conference,” Ginebra coach Jong Uichico told The STAR.
The Ginebra management sought a new deal but Hatfield opted to assess things first with his family in the United States.
Hatfield’s departure will surely leave a big void in the Ginebra frontcourt especially with Rico Villanueva also in the injured list, recuperating from an ACL surgery.
Uichico, however, hopes they find the right import for the third conference in Curtis Stinson.
The 6-foot-2 guard, a Bronx, New York native, played college ball for Iowa State and has been a fixture in the NBA D-League since 2007. He’s a two-time D-League first team and D-League MVP this season.
Curiously, Uichico saw positive things in their loss to Talk n Text in their title showdown, making him hopeful of another shot at the championship.
“For one, we saw that our young guys can compete. I know now that I can give them playing time that they really deserve,” said Uichico of players like JC Intal, John Wilson and Rob Labagala.
Uichico’s also comfortable with the fact that they’ve always been contending for the crown.