IMPORTS are an integral part of the league’s 43-year history as they helped set the bar higher in terms of competition.
From former NBA players to international journeymen, these standouts have surely provided the PBA something to watch for especially in these import-laden conferences.
As we continue to examine some of the on-boarding reinforcements in the upcoming Governor’s Cup, today, FOX Sports PH takes a look of the imports of the remaining teams.
NLEX Road Warriors
Just like in the case of Blackwater, Nigerian-Canadian Olu Ashaolu was brought in earlier than expected by the Road Warriors in order to prepare for the Governor’s Cup. The former Louisiana Tech standout has a well-rounded game as he can shoot outside and can finish well inside against his much bigger counterparts. He has had international playing stints in Spain, France, and Japan prior to coming here in the Philippines.
Rain or Shine Elastopainters
Another familiar import makes it back in the Philippine scene by international journeyman J’Nathan Bullock. One of his main strengths is his outside shooting but he also shown the capability of banging bodies down low given his hefty frame. After all, he was a former football player in the NFL as he was signed by the New York Jets in 2009 but he did not make it in the final roster cut.
San Miguel Beermen
Cited by head coach Leo Austria as one of the rising resident imports, Arizona Reid is back for his sixth tour of duty for the Beermen. The two-time Best Import awardee was remembered to have won his first PBA title at the expense of the Alaska Aces back in 2015. Look for him to come out gunning for his third Best Import citation, while trying to win his second championship as well.
Due to their lack of frontcourt depth, the TNT Katropa have decided to bring in Mike Glover, who has played before for the Batang Pier back in 2016. Nicknamed as Optimus Prime, his wide frame would definitely overwhelm his counterparts as he is adept in playing bully ball down low. He is also boasting an impressive international resume having played in places like Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, and Canada – where won as the 2016 NBL Sixth Man of the Year.
Phoenix Fuel Masters
Along with fielding in a newcomer in Calvin Abueva, Phoenix is set to bring back hold over Eugene Phelps who has played well in the Commissioner’s Cup. Coming in with a new hairstyle and fitter frame, Phelps showed a better all-around game last conference – by averaging 29.9 points 18.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks. He was also well-known for his 52-point outburst back in his debut against the Batang Pier in 2016. From his imposing frame to his consistency, it is understandable as to why the Fuel Masters have brought him back again.
One of LeBron James’ best friends Romeo Travis is set to return in the PBA – this time playing for the Magnolia Hotshots. After performing extremely well for Alaska all throughout the 2015 Governor’s Cup, his numbers dipped across the board in facing the AZ Reid-led Beermen as they settled for second place. Magnolia is aching for a deep playoff run after their unprecedented finals appearance in this year’s All-Filipino Cup and the Akron native will bear majority of the pressure heading into the Governor’s Cup.
Who do you think will win the Best Import award in this year’s edition of the Governor’s Cup? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.