It’s that time of the year again, as each PBA team will once again welcome battle-tested reinforcements for the highly anticipated 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, slated to begin on May 19.
These imports, who were first welcomed by the league in 1981, have brought world class talent to the Philippine hardwood and have raised the level of play among locals.
FOX Sports Philippines presents our “Here come the Imports” series, where we profile each PBA team’s basketball mercenaries for the upcoming conference, continuing with TNT’s prized acquisition Terrence Jones.
It wasn’t that long ago when Terrence Jones was putting up big numbers for the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA.
The 6’9 lefty came from a successful collegiate program in Kentucky and was one of six Wildcats to be drafted in the 2012 NBA draft, along with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller.
He was picked 18th overall by the Rockets and had to spend some time with the Rio Grande Vipers in the D-League (now G-League). He would eventually earn a starting power forward spot in the Rockets’ rotation and played alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard throughout his four-year stay in Houston.
He had a brief tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2016-17 NBA season, where he showed flashes of brilliance while taking over the spot of his former college teammate Davis, who was injured at the time. He was eventually waived by the Pels in order to make room for the arrival of DeMarcus Cousins.
After a nine-game stay in the Chinese Basketball Association and stops with the Santa Cruz Warriors and Erie BayHawks in the G-League, Jones briefly returned to the Rockets with a pair of 10-day contracts this season but was eventually not brought back.
Battle with bizarre injuries
At just 27-years-old, Jones has already missed a considerable amount of games due to some bizarre incidents. After finally making a name for himself in his third year, Jones had to miss 41 games due to nerve inflammation in his left leg. He was later involved in a car accident that left him sidelined for most of the year after suffering a collapsed lung.
Jones had another unlucky stretch the following season, dealing with a concussion, as well as a lacerated eyelid and stitches that scratched his eye. He was again involved in another vehicular accident on his way to a Rockets’ flight before the 2016 All-Star break.
Fit with TNT Katropa
With his impressive resume, there’s no doubt that TNT certainly acquired the most high-profiled reinforcement for the upcoming conference.
This will be Jones’s first rodeo in the Philippines, and it might get some time for him to adjust to the Filipinos’ physicality and style of play. Still, his raw talent should be enough to shake off the unfamiliarity, as his athleticism alone would be a handful for the rest of the league.
With decent handles for a guy his size, Jones is a strong finisher who likes to throw it down with both hands even with defenders draped all over him.
Aside from being a gifted scorer and strong rebounder, Jones also has a reliable post game and a decent mid-range jumper. Although shooting is not his strongest suit, Jones has also shown the ability to drain wide open three-pointers and will be to help space the floor for coach Bong Ravena.