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Kirk Long bolsters powerful NLEX squad

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 11:57 PM March 06, 2012

ANILA, Philippines—Ateneo star Kirk Long beefs up an already potent NLEX crew when the PBA D-League Foundation Cup rolls off on March 13.

Long, who just played his final season with Blue Eagles, joins a virtual all-star amateur lineup led by Calvin Abueva, RR Garcia, Dave Marcelo and Cliff Hodge in the Road Warriors’ bid for a third straight championship.

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Last month, PBA commissioner Chito Salud gave Long the go signal to play for the farm tournament following an appeal in which he cited his decade-long stay in the Philippines even if he’s an American national.

Only Filipinos and foreigners with Filipino roots are allowed to play in the league. A foreigner, though, gets to play only if he’s part of a school-based team.

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The Road Warriors get their campaign going against Big Chill at 4 p.m. on opening day, right before the RnW Pacific Pipes tangle with Blackwater at 2 p.m. at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Most of the squads in this conference’s 10-team field will parade retooled lineups, according to tournament director Butch Maniego yesterday.

RnW Pacific Pipes hired Pido Jarencio as its new coach, replacing Topex Robinson, and added nine new players led by UST’s Jeric Teng and Adamson’s Jan Colina.

Cebuana Lhuillier tapped Ateneo’s Bacon Austria, Adamson’s Lester Alvarez and Janus Lozada, while Boracay Rum signed up Filipino-Americans Sean Baitinger and Shaun Williams.

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Basketball, Kirk Long, NLEX, PBA D-League, Sports
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