Do-everything Tyler Bey puzzled over PBA Best Import result
Count Magnolia import Tyler Bey among those puzzled by how the Best Import race of the 2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup was decided on Friday night.
His confusion, however, was not over him missing out on the plum.
“I wouldn’t [have been] surprised if Bennie (Boatwright Jr.) won; I was surprised that neither one of us won it, honestly. So that was a big question mark for me,” he told the Inquirer in a candid chat shortly after the Hotshots’ 96-85 Finals Game 4 win over powerhouse San Miguel.
Phoenix Super LPG’s Johnathan Williams III was crowned the finest import, stunning Bey and several fans who were in attendance at Smart Araneta Coliseum that night. Debates ensued on social media right after, with a glut of comments on the Inquirer Sports’ Facebook page expressing their disbelief.
Several remarks pointed out the media votes, which Williams III won by a landslide. The Fuel Masters forward earned 424 media nods against Bey’s 279, Boatwright Jr.’s 156, and Barangay Ginebra import Tony Bishop Jr.’s measly five.
Williams III ultimately racked up a total of 1,017 points, 109 more than the Hotshots import.
Media votes are among the rubrics for determining the winner alongside statistical points and player votes.
Bey finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six steals in Game 4, and refused to admit that his two-way performance was fueled by the Best Import snub.
“I’m not really tripping on it, I just want to win these games and get to Game 4—that’s all I wanted for this team,” he said.
He did admit that putting out a show before a beloved import and being the least seasoned reinforcement in the conference spurred him to do well.
“I got a lot of respect for Justin Brownlee and Bennie. But being the youngest import here, I felt like I got a chip on my shoulder,” he said.