Painters’ 7-3 Sundov to fly in on SundayBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Rain or Shine, in the thick of seeking a second straight PBA title, will bring in a 7-foot-3 behemoth in Bruno Sundov for the Commissioner’s Cup that begins Feb. 8.
Sundov has come to terms with Elasto Painters management and is set to arrive on Sunday to become the tallest import ever in the league.
But that is not the only distinction that the native of Split, Croatia, will bring to the table, but immense talent that made him a second round pick of the Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association in 1998.
That class included greats Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison as he was picked 35th overall.
Sundov is playing for Osjecki Sokol in the European League and is regarded as a great talent who owns formidable inside moves and has a soft touch from the outside.
A legitimate inside presence is what is lacking in the Rain or Shine lineup, and Sundov can definitely address this and make life easier for the Painters’ outside gunners like Jeff Chan, Chris Tiu and Paul Lee in the Commissioner’s Cup.
After playing for Dallas until 2000, Sundov also had stints at Indiana (2000-02), Boston (2002-03), Cleveland (2003-04) New York (2004-05).
His NBA averages are 1.7 points and 1 rebound in 102 total games.
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text, the other team in the Philippine Cup Finals with the Painters, is keen on tapping national team mainstay Marcus Douthit as its import, with management to ask permission from the Commissioner’s Office.
Douthit has been part of the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas program being bankrolled by Talk ‘N Text owner Manny V. Pangilinan. Douthit was naturalized as a Filipino some two years ago but would play in the Commissioner’s Cup as an import.
“We’ll ask PBA Commissioner Chito Salud about Marcus, if the league will allow us to have him as import, and if we can get his release from Air21, which had him as import under special circumstances,” said team manager Aboy Castro.
“But if we can’t get him (Douthit), we’re ready for that. We actually have three players in our list,” added Castro.
Douthit landed with Air21 in this same conference last year but has expressed willingness to play for the Texters.
The 6-foot-10 Douthit left for Dubai yesterday together with the other members of the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas cadet pool, which will campaign in an invitational tournament as a preparation for the Fiba-Asia Qualifying tournament in August in Lebanon.
Other teams which already enlisted services of imports are Air21 (Michael Dunigan), Globalport (Justin Williams), Barako Bull (Evan Brock), Petron Blaze (Renaldo Balkman) and Barangay Ginebra (Herbert Hill).