Naturalized players reinforce Gilas foes


12:11 AM June 22nd, 2013

By: Musong R. Castillo, June 22nd, 2013 12:11 AM

CHINESE-Taipei is trying to naturalize 6-foot-9 American Quincy Davis for the Fiba Asia World Championship qualifying in August in Manila in hopes of bolstering its stock in the group that includes its perennial tormentor, Gilas-Pilipinas.

Another team in the same Group A, Jordan, has also tapped a new naturalized player in Andre Emmett to fill the spot vacated by Rasheim Wright and boost its chances of advancing from the preliminaries.

Emmet is a 6-foot-5 guard and could prove to be a headache for the Filipinos, being bigger and taller than the 6-foot Wright.

Lorenzo Woods, a legitimate National Basketball Association veteran, could play for Lebanon as its naturalized player, while Japan has the creative JR Sakuragi and Qatar has Jarvis Hayes.

If the form charts holds true, Lebanon, Japan and Qatar could be opponents of Team Philippines in the second round of the preliminaries.

The tournament will reward 2014 World Championship slots in Spain to the top three placers.

The Philippines, being the host, picked to be in Group A to avoid an early clash with the powerhouses Iran, South Korea and China.

Davis graduated from Tulane University, averaging 13.1 points in his final season in 2006 before packing his bags to play in leagues in Europe, China and Venezuela. He has played for the Pure Youth squad in Taipei for the last two seasons.

Emmett plays for Amchit Club in the Lebanese league and is a proven scorer, having played for the great Bobby Knight at Texas Tech where he wound up as the Red Raiders’ all-time top scorer with 2,256 points.

After being selected as the 35th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by Seattle, Emmett bounced around with stints at Miami, Philadelphia and Memphis before settling down in Europe and later on Lebanon.

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