|Mike Nieto is officially with ROS now. From Nieto's Instagram account|
MANILA—Mike Nieto is now officially a Rain Or Shine Elasto Painter after signing his rookie contract with the team.
On hand with the contract signing on Friday as seen in Nieto's Instagram story were team governor Mamerto Mondragon, head of basketball operations Caloy Garcia, and team manager Jireh Ibañes.
Nieto's contract will run for two years, and he might become available next weekend when the PBA resumes the Governors' Cup after a one-month break.
Nieto has been released by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas from his duties with Gilas Pilipinas after his contract with the national team expired.
Although not present physically in the contract signing, Coach Chris Gavina expressed gladness that Nieto can now join ROS.
"We're extremely happy that after three years, we're finally able to land a player like Mike," Gavina said in the Sports On Air Weekly podcast.
He also believes Nieto's experience playing overseas with Gilas would help the team get its groove back after a 2-3 start to its campaign in the season-ending conference.
"We're all looking forward to what Mike brings for us in regards to his high IQ, motor, and competitive nature," Gavina further said.
Gavina, however, is also aware that Nieto's fellow Gilas pool members from the 2019 PBA Draft, namely twin brother Matt, Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, and Allyn Bulanadi, would also be significant additions to the teams that took them.
"The international experience na idadala ng mga players na yun with their respective mother teams will pay dividends, I'm sure," Gavina added. "Iba yung confidence ng mga players pagbalik nila sa Gilas, so I think that's gonna be an added asset to a lot of teams who were able to draft some of the Gilas players."
Suerte inked his contract with Blackwater earlier in the week, and Coach Ariel Vanguardia revealed also on SOA Weekly that he has been practicing for three days straight already.
Matt Nieto and Bulanadi are still in negotiations with NLEX and Alaska, respectively, while there is no news about Go's communication with Terrafirma, although he is said to be exploring his options.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno