Like the great Sean Chambers before, Alaska hopes young Tony Campbell can become resident import

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SEAN Chambers is one among the few imports who called the Philippines as home.

In fact, he has become the resident import of Alaska, a team which he led to six championships, the most by any import who played in the PBA and was only one of the few to be part of a grand slam team.

It’s not surprising when Alaska would always use him as bench mark when it comes to hiring new reinforcements and there’s no better way than to have Chambers himself handpick an import for the Aces.

One of only two imports cited by the PBA as “Mr. 100-percent Performance”, Chambers decided to bring in 23-year-old Tony Campbell, a former MAC Player of the Year, who is playing in his first overseas league.

For Chambers, Campbell’s skill set is a good fit for Alaska.

“Well, the skill level that he has, it translates to the PBA. It can cause problems for the other imports teams are going to bring over. Because a lot of imports going to play are kinda strong, post up guy who can post up to the basket. But most of the guys who are available right now, don’t posses the ability to go out there and shoot the three ball as well. I think he made five or six treys today. Antonio can shoot the trey, he can put the ball to the ground and dribble,” Chambers told in an exclusive interview.

But aside from the young guy’s skill set, Chambers believes Campbell should be in tip-top condition and get used to the Philippine weather condition to become more productive.

“I think he is a good fit, but he needs to be in the best shape of his life because he’s gonna play the most minutes he has ever played in his life. He needs to understand that it’s humid here. It’s a hot country. So you must drink a lot of water, take a lot of fluids, you need to play a lot of minutes. In my days you need to play 48 minutes, 48 minutes of hard, not take a break, and continue to play hard throughout the game. It’s a little bit different now. If he gets in his bets shape, he can be an NBA-type of player,” added Chambers.

Chambers, a future PBA Hall of Famer along with the other key members of the Alaska grand slam team, believes taking in Campbell on board the Aces will not be only beneficial for his beloved squad, but would also help the young player in return of fulfilling his dream of making it to the big league.

“Our goal is to not only what he can do for us, but we’re also talking to our coaching staff and our trainers, what we can do for him? Can we do get him in super physical shape? Can we get him into the best basketball ability that he can be? Because this guy has a chance of making it to the NBA and he can use the Philippines as springboard,” said Chambers.

If everything falls at the right places, Campbell could become Alaska’s resident reinforcement just like Chambers before.

“If he cannot make it to the NBA, the Philippines will always be a good fall back for him. This (PBA) is a good league for him,” added Chambers.

Alaska coach Alex Compton said bringing in a player in the caliber of Chambers, who has tremendous work ethic, is always welcome for the squad.

“Well, that would be great. I would love that. That’s always your hope when you get a young import, that he’s the guy who keeps coming back,” said Compton. “For me, if we can get a guy, a high character guy who’s smart and can learn and grow, boy, it would make my life better with a Sean Chambers-type of import who keeps coming back and win championships.”

Compton, however, thinks keeping a great import to keep coming back for them would be a lot more challenging now.

“What’s really difficult now is Tony is a guy who has great skill set, that it if he doesn’t make the NBA, the Korean League might offer him big money because he can shoot the ball and play inside. The Koreans love that. It might be China, which can think that this guy can play and offer him some big money. Now you have to worry about player’s availability,” added Compton.

For now, Compton is relishing the moment of watching up close and personal a great potential like Campbell.

(Photo credit, Alaska Aces Instagram)