Who are 2013 PBA commissioner’s cup imports?
The import-laden 38th PBA Commissioner’s Cup will kick off on February 8, 2013 Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Aside from PBA trades, the hired imports are also much-awaited. Each team is allowed to hire a single import for the tournament.
San Mig Coffee Mixers: Matt Rogers
Fans were anticipating for Denzel Bowles’ return to the team, but the Zhejiang Golden Bulls’ power forward turned out to be unavailable. Bowles was the Mixers’ (formerly B-Meg Llamados) import when they won the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last season.
The Mixers have, instead, tapped former Southwest Baptist University player Matt Rogers as their import for the upcoming tournament to replace Bowles.
Rogers was the Mixers’ first choice for last season’s Commissioner’s Cup before they eventually ended up with Bowles. He was picked fourth over-all by Texas in the 2010 NBA Development League draft. He has averaged 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in two D-League seasons.
Petron Blaze Boosters: Renaldo Balkman
The Boosters have hired the former New York Knicks’ forward Renaldo Balkman. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 3.0 points and 1.9 rebounds during the 2011-2012 NBA season. On February 17, 2012, he was released by the Knicks to make room on the roster for J. R. Smith.
Air21 Express: Michael René Dunigan
Dunigan played college basketball for the University of Oregon between 2008 and 2010 before he had a short stint (for nearly a month) as a Memphis Grizzlies squad member in 2012. He was also signed by several international basketball league such as the Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem in the Israeli Basketball Super League and BC Kalev/Cramo in Estonia.
Although he did not have an impressive NBA career, Air21 coach Franz Pumaren still thinks that the 23-year-old import is a “pretty solid player.” Dunigan’s experience overseas, at such a young age, gives Pumaren assurance he’ll fare well against seasoned players in the league.
Alaska Aces: Robert Dozier
The 6’9″ power forward has started in all 99 games with the Memphis Tigers during the 2007-08 season, along with future NBA players Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey. He was a key part of the team which advanced all the way to the championship game of the 2008 NCAA Tournament where they eventually lost to the Kansas Jayhawks.
Aces coach Luigi Trillo hopes that the team has the right import in Dozier. He said he likes what he has seen with their new import. According to him, Dozier is a good rebounder, can shoot from the outside or drive to the hoop when needed. [Source]
Barako Bull Energy Cola: Evan Brock
Having played with the Indonesia Warriors in the ASEAN Basketball League against Filipino players, Brock is said to be no stranger to the Filipino brand of basketball.
The new Barako Bull import has impressed Barako Bull coaches Rajko Toroman and Bong Ramos for being an aggressive, at the same time a team player. [Source]
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel: Herbert Hill
The 6-foot-10 Ginebra import still needs conditioning according to coach Alfrancis Chua. “OK siya, may laro naman talaga. Kailangan lang ng hangin,” said Chua in an InterAKTV report.
Hill was selected in the second round of the NBA draft in 2007 by the Utah Jazz before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He spent last season in South Korea, where he averaged 19.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks for the Daegu Orionas, leaving his mark as one of the most productive imports in the league.
GlobalPort Batang Pier: Justin Williams
The status of Williams as Batang Pier import was shaky at first. But due to his impressive performance in a losing tuneup game against the Petron Blaze Boosters, the team manager BJ Manalo has decided to stick with Williams.
Williams is best known for his shot-blocking and rebounding abilities. While playing for the University of Wyoming in the 2006 Mountain West Conference Tournament on March 11, he recorded a triple-double in a second round game against the University of Utah with 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 blocked shots.
Meralco Bolts: Eric Dawson
The Meralco Bolts may have acquired the best import for the PBA in Dawson. The former NBA D-League’s Impact Player of the Year played for the Austin Toros. He averaged 17.2 points and 10.7 rebounds, shooting 56 percent from the field earning himself the title.
The 6-foot-9 import has impressed Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio by his performance in practice and tuneups. In a tune-up game against GlobalPort, he finished with 26 points and 19 rebounds. Aside from his impressive shooting and rebounds, Gregorio said that Dawson is also an intelligent and good team player as he makes his teammates more involved and more efficient.
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters: Bruno Sundov
At 7-foot-3, Sundov is the tallest import in the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup. Painters’ coach Yeng Guiao orders his team’s import to intimidate and dominate, which he deemed as what the team needs – an intimidating player. He has played for five different NBA teams, which probably makes him a good choice for the Painters.
In a recent tune-up game against the Mixers, Sundov dropped 21 points, dominated the boards with 16 rebounds, and blocked three shots in a 93-82 win over their opponents.
Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters: Keith Benson
The 6-foot-11 Texters’ import suited up for the Eerie Bayhawks in the NBA Developmental League, where he averaged 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Texters’ head coach Norman Black says that Benson is a good rebounder and good shot blocker with a lot of athleticism in him. The multi-titled mentor added that Benson will fare with other imports and will help them in their bid for another cup title.
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