Oraeme refutes Co’s claims: I didn’t tell him I won’t be coming back
Contrary to coach Atoy Co’s claims on his sudden departure, Allwell Oraeme clarified that he’s going nowhere.
The 21-year-old said that that it was true that he’s going back to Nigeria but argued that he said nothing about leaving the Mapua camp.
“I told him that I will be going back home (to Nigeria), but I didn’t tell him I won’t be coming back (to Mapua),” he said.
Co on Tuesday reacted to Oraeme’s departure, saying that he isn’t convinced by his reasons to leave.
“This has happened before, when he said that he doesn’t want to play for me. Now, it’s a different tune and he’s saying he’s just going back home,” he said. “I asked him why is he here? Because life in Nigeria is very hard, so he’s here to have a good future – free scholarship and a little allowance. Now, he’ll say that he’s going back to Nigeria? Then he’ll come back here and say that he’d returned because he has nothing to do there? I don’t buy it,” Co said in Filipino.
The mentor even went on to say that he won’t sign Oraeme’s clearance if he decides to transfer to other schools.
Oraeme has been a prime target for other schools since he burst into the collegiate scene in 2015, when he bagged the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year in his first season with the Cardinals.
Things came to a head last year when multiple schools tried to pry the 6-foot-10 big man away of Intramuros before he ultimately decided to stay for NCAA Season 92.
Oraeme would then average 16.0 points, 20.0 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.2 assists in 34.7 minutes in his
sophomore year to win his second MVP and lead Mapua back to the Final Four.
Despite Co’s allegations, Oraeme said that he’s not entertaining offers from other schools and he has Mapua athletic director Melchor Divina to attest to that.
“I told the athletic director that I have not been in contact with any school,” he said. “If I happen to be (in contact with other schools), I will let Mapua know and everything will be done the right way.”
For now, Oraeme’s sail remains in the Cardinals’ nest.
“I love Mapua. That’s all I can say right now,” he said.