Familiar names lead stellar cast of Commissioner’s Cup imports
Reigning Best Import Wayne Chism and fierce rival Ivan Johnson banner the stellar cast of reinforcements set to make waves when the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup tips off on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Chism will be hoping that the third time’s a charm as he hopes to finally bring a championship to Rain or Shine in his third tour of duty for the Elasto Painters.
But standing in his way will be 11 other imports led by Ivan Johnson, Denzel Bowles and Rob Dozier, who are also making their anticipated PBA return.
Johnson, the former Atlanta Hawk in the NBA, will once again lead defending champion TNT. He and Chism went toe-to-toe in last year’s Commissioner’s Cup Finals where the Tropang Texters beat the Elasto Painters in seven games.
Former Best Imports Bowles and Dozier, who have led their respective squads to a championship, hope to bring the title back to Star and Alaska, respectively.
With the popular Bowles, Star aims to bounce back after struggling in its first conference under coach Jason Webb, while Alaska hopes the return of Dozier will reinvigorate its team following a heartbreaking loss in the recently-concluded Philippine Cup Finals where the Aces blew a 3-0 series lead.
Ex-NBA players Al Thornton of NLEX and Othyus Jeffers of Ginebra, who are also making their PBA comeback, hope to bank on their previous experience to help their own teams contend this conference.
ABL standout Brian Williams will be joining the up-and-coming GlobalPort, while former San Miguel prospect Arinze Onuaku has been tapped by Meralco to replace injured import Malcolm Thomas.
Also making their PBA debut, are forward Tyler Wilkerson of Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer, MJ Rhett of Blackwater, Nigerian center Kenny Adeleke of Phoenix and Augustus Gilchrist, the 6-foot-10 big man, of Mahindra.
The Enforcers, who were one of the worst teams last conference, are the only team allowed to exceed the 6-foot-9 height limit this conference.
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