Versatile Vroman helps Ginebra survive despite struggles at the stripe | Inquirer Sports

Versatile Vroman helps Ginebra survive despite struggles at the stripe

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 11:09 PM March 20, 2012

Barangay Ginebra import Jackson Vroman can beat you in a number of ways.

And that versatility was in full effect in the Gin Kings pulsating 94-91 overtime win over fierce rival Talk ‘N Text Sunday evening.

Vroman unloaded 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field built on an array of moves: Post ups, isolations or freestyle, on-the-fly shots to bail


out stagnant offensive sets.


The American-born naturalized Lebanese cager also has an unlikely great court vision for a big man as evidenced by his eight assists. Throw in his

game-high 19 rebounds and the guy was close to registering a triple double, officially that is.

“He (Vroman) played great, he was two assists shy of a triple-double and I missed three lay ups from him. The only thing he needs to improve on is, we

all know, his free throw. Outside of that he’s a heck of a player,” Rudy Hatfield told

“He plays hard. He’s a smart player and he knows how to help and he does things that a lot of imports don’t do,” added Hatfield, who gave the Gin

Kings a much-needed offensive punch Sunday night with a career-high 30 points on top of 14 rebounds.


Even the Tropang Texters’ multititled mentor Chot Reyes has all praises for the six-foot-10 journeyman.

“Vroman is perhaps the most skilled import around,” Reyes said the night before going up against Ginebra. “He makes Ginebra, the deepest team in the

PBA, so much better.”

But for all the things Vroman can do, the 2004 NBA second-round pick of the Chicago Bulls, struggles at the stripe.

The versatile Vroman, who also suited up for the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets, shot a horrendous one-of-12 shooting at the stripe. Three

of his 11 misses didn’t even graze the front iron.

“Actually, I’d admit it that also is a big concern of mine because coming in, he was never that poor of a free throw shooter,” said Ginebra head coach

Siot Tanquingcen on Vroman’s free throw funk.

“In fact in Korea, he shot about 62 to 65 percent, which is not that bad, in China, he also shot around like that as well which is decent. But it

wasn’t as bad as right now and I think it’s more mental,” continued Tanquingcen, whose squad is tied with Powerade in third place with identical

4-3 records.

In Vroman’s four games with the Gin Kings, he has missed 35 out of his 52 attempts from the stripe. One can just imagine how much more efficient

Vroman can be if he consistently starts making at least half of his 12 to 14 free throw attempts per game.

“It’s hard to survive missing those free throws but I just can’t explain it. He’s working on it, we see it in practices with coach Allan Caidic and

he shoots it consistently so it’s more on maybe the fatigue but I don’t know, it’s really a mystery to us,” said Tanquingcen, who brought back

seven-foot Chris Alexander as import in Ginebra’s first three games before replacing him with the more offensively sound Vroman.

Tanquingcen kept Vroman on the floor despite the risk of his import intentionally fouled in the waning seconds of the game and it paid dividends

in the end.

Vroman cooled off in the second half and overtime after netting 18 points in the first two quarters but his mere presence on the floor proved vital in

Ginebra’s all-important win as teams in the middle of the pack play for positioning and quarterfinal berths with two to three games left in the

elimination round.

The Kings wind up their elimination round schedule with a relatively light schedule against potentially dangerous banana-peel foes in Barako Bull and


And Vroman is expected to play a key role in both games even with his struggles from the stripe.

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“For sure in end-game situations it’s hard to survive when he misses and that’s really what we’re trying to solve,” said Tanquingcen.

TAGS: Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, Basketball, Chot Reyes, Jackson Vroman, PBA, PBA Commissioner's Cup, Rudy Hatfield, Siot Tanquingcen, Sports, Talk N Text Tropang Texters

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