Cardel ‘overjoyed’ as Columbian finds what it needs in import Khapri Alston
MANILA, Philippines–Khapri Alston is listed at 6-foot-3, 1/2—the smallest among the PBA Governors’ Cup current crop of reinforcements.
But he made sure in his debut with Columbian on Friday night that his game and his height are separate features, delivering a sensational individual performance to tow his team past Alaska, 117-110, in the conference opener at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
“I felt I really helped our team tonight,” said Khapri, who fired 38 points and plucked down 22 rebounds to lead all of the Dyip that night.
“I feel good about it,” he added.
He wasn’t the only one in high spirits after the victory, as Columbian coach Johnedel Cardel felt like that he has found the perfect squad in his quest for a playoff berth.
“I’m not just happy, I’m overjoyed,” Cardel said in Filipino during the post-game presser. “That’s the kind (of import) that we were missing in the past—someone who posts, someone who is a go-to type.”
But what really excites Cardel is his import’s potential, which should bode well for the Dyip if we base it on the team’s performance with an import that fits well into their system, like Lester Prosper in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“(Khapri) actually told me that his current heaviness is not his playing weight,” the mentor said.
“Actually, in the fourth, he wasn’t scoring that much more points. He’s still adjusting to the Filipino way of the game,” he added.
“I’m trying to get (my weight) down,” said Alston, who has had stints in the United Kingdom, Argentina, and Uruguay among others.
“My most comfortable playing weight is 240 to 245 (pounds). I’m (currently) at 260,” he added.
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