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Thomas Robinson out, Stokley Chaffee in as NLEX import

Stokley Chaffee meets with NLEX team officials as he officially joins the Road Warriors. NLEX Road Warriors
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--NLEX confirmed on Wednesday that Thomas Robinson will no longer be its import for the rest of the PBA Commissioner's Cup as Stokley Chaffee comes on to reinforce the squad.

When initial reports of the eventual import change surfaced on Tuesday, fans speculated that it had something to do with Robinson's altercation with NorthPort team executives Pido Jarencio and Erick Arejola during their game last week.

However, Road Warriors team manager Larry Fonacier clarified that the import change was due to them not being informed of Robinson's personal plans, particularly his "unplanned vacation" to Palawan.

“Thomas Robinson’s departure from the NLEX Road Warriors was a difficult but necessary decision. We value discipline, commitment, and teamwork, and unfortunately, his taking an unplanned vacation, and skipping team practices, compromised these principles. The team’s success depends on a collective effort and a shared commitment, and we will continue to uphold these standards as we forge ahead in the season,” Fonacier said.

Spin.PH's Gerry Ramos reported that Robinson and his family went on a vacation interestingly when he was supposed to show up to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial to air his side of the tension that brewed during the NorthPort-NLEX post-game.

Listed at six-foot-nine, the 26-year-old Chaffee, who went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft after finishing his collegiate career at Tennessee State, played three seasons in Europe, two with Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus and one with Finland's Kobrat.

Chaffee tried his luck in the NBA G-League, but he did not make the Santa Cruz Warriors and Sioux Falls Skyforce's opening night lineups.

After the one full season off, Chaffee gets a quick revival to his pro career with the Road Warriors.

“I’m really happy and excited. It’s something new for me. I wouldn’t say it’s pressure, but rather high expectations. There are expectations from me not only on the court but also off the court, and, obviously, to win. I hope I can meet those expectations,” Chaffee said.

Chaffee is expected to make his debut right on the first day of December when NLEX takes on Magnolia, which is making a return to action after a 12-day break, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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