Gin Kings ditch weary Alexander; Vroman in
MANILA, Philippines — Clearly wanting a dominant import, Barangay Ginebra has junked seven-footer Chris Alexander in favor of naturalized Lebanese Jackson Vroman, a multidimensional forward and veteran of top-grade Asian competitions.
Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen Monday confirmed that the 6-10 Vroman, who also played for several NBA and European teams in the past, will replace Alexander despite the Kings’ winning record (2-1).
Alexander captured the Best Import award and led the Kings to the 2008 Fiesta Conference crown with imposing averages of 19.3 points, 20.1 rebounds and 3.46 blocks.
But Alexander is no longer the same awesome presence in the paint. He tallied a total of just 14 points and 17 rebounds in Ginebra’s three games.
“He (Vroman) just arrived today (yesterday) from China where he played in the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association),” said Tanquingcen. “Jackson already practiced with us and he’s looking good.”
The 30-year-old Vroman seemed an excellent choice, having carried Lebanon to fourth place in the 2009 Fiba Asia Championship.
Drafted 31st overall in the first round by the Chicago Bulls in 2004, Vroman also suited up for the Phoenix Suns (2005) and New Orleans Hornets (2006) before taking his superb post-up game and off-the-dribble forays to Europe.
Vroman played for the Dongguan Leopards in China and Incheon ET Land Elephants in South Korea last year before recently ending his contract with the CBA’s Jiangsu Dragons.
He averaged 25.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.6 blocks in 24 games with the Dragons.