Parks makes Elite debut; Almazan doubtful for Bolts
Meralco and Blackwater will unveil souped-up rosters when they clash at the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Nigerian-American Gani Lawal will spearhead Meralco’s bid this conference.
The Bolts also recently acquired Raymond Almazan, the former Rain or Shine slotman traded to the squad for future picks. Almazan, though, is doubtful due to a calf injury.
“We’ve gone quite a few years without a big man who can man the paint, particularly in the all-Filipino conference,” head coach Norman Black said in an interview published on the league’s website.
“I will say that he’ll definitely help us get better,” he added. “[W]e want to win now, and we want to get a guy who can help us win now.”
The Elite have a new player of their own in the 5:45 p.m. clash as they finally suit up their top draft pick Ray Parks Jr.
“His versatility will provide us a huge boost for our campaign in the upcoming conference,” Blackwater’s interim head coach Aris Dimaunahan told the Inquirer in a previous interview.
“[Parks] can play multiple positions and create mismatches for us, which makes him a great addition for us,” he added.
Aside from the son of the late PBA star import Bobby Parks, Blackwater will also parade reinforcement Alex Stepheson, who previously played for the Bolts.
In the later match, Alaska will try to put a forgettable all-Filipino conference behind it as the Aces parade 35-year-old Chris Daniels in their game against Columbian.
Columbian, which went from its cellar-dwelling ways to nearly making the playoffs in the Philippine Cup, will be reinforced by American Kyle Barone, who is also coming off a stint with Saigon Heat in the ABL.
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