Teams to parade ex-NBA players in the PBA Commissioner’s CupBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—Preparations for the PBA Commissioner’s cup, which starts next month, have commenced—and finding an import is on top of the to-do list.
With the names of the squads’ first choice of reinforcements already out, next conference looks to be more competitive than ever with former NBA talents in the mix.
After their early exit, Petron Blaze and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel turned their focus into beefing up for next chapter—which, for the Kings, included a coaching change.
The Boosters will parade Renaldo Balkman, former New York Knick, while the Kings will bank on Herbert Hill, a second-round draft pick by the Utah Jazz in 2007.
SMC official Noli Eala, on his Twitter (@NoliEala), described the six-foot-eight Balkman as a ”solid worker, hard-nose defender and energy guy.”
Hill, who has played in a league in Korea, meanwhile, has “rebounding, inside presence” as his assets to be utilized by Ginebra.
San Mig Coffee is going a familiar—yet certified way—hoping to rekindle its championship hopes with Denzel Bowles, who has a lion’s share in the Mixers’ (formerly B-Meg) last title.
Meralco Bolts, meanwhile, has tapped former NBA Eric Dawson, who played with San Antonio Spurs last 2011-2012 season, to help them advance further next conference, said in a report in the league’s official (pba.inquirer.net) website.
Air21, which likewise failed to advance to the semifinals, has also started its hunt for a new import as it will no longer sign the services of naturalized center Marcus Douthit.
The Express is going for a fresher route, this time, as it negotiates with 23-year-old Michael Dunigan out of Memphis Grizzlies, also according to the PBA.ph report.
Cellar dweller Global Port is trying to bring in Justin Williams, who had brief stints with Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets in the NBA.
Rain or Shine, with a great chance to go all the way in the ongoing Philippine Cup, has already locked in a deal with seven-foot-three Bruno Sundov.
Without a ceiling in the height requirement, the Elastopainters will have the towering 32-year-old Sundov, who had stints in five different teams in the NBA, in their roster.
Alaska has three prospects in mind, including former Los Angeles Laker DJ Mbenga, while Barako Bull has former Washington Wizards forward Al Thornton on top of their list.
Talk ’N Text, meanwhile, is reportedly still in talks with its choice of import—a familiar name—for next conference.
The PBA Commissioner’s Cup starts in February.