Going Euro? We're waiting for the next great white hope

Prior to assuming office as PBA chairman, Red Bull governor Tony Chua proposed that PBA teams should hire European imports for the Fiesta Cup. His proposal did not reach first base as teams went on to hire colored African-American imports. That is bound to change in the coming weeks.

Seeing the success of Red Bull and Mexican-American Adam Parada‘s continued dominance inside the paint, teams are beginning to notice that it isn’t so bad after all to enlist ‘White’ imports contrary to what has been practised traditionally for so long in the PBA.

Reports have it that the Purefoods TJ Giants and the Alaska Aces will be replacing their imports with a pair of Euro slotmen.

Reda Rhalimi, a standout out of St. Mary’s will be arriving today to reinforce the Giants while the Aces are said to be negotiating with Puerto Rico’s starting center and NBA veteran Daniel Santiago. A couple of teams such as Magnolia and Sta. Lucia (yes, you are hearing it right) may be joining the fray and replace their defensive-minded imports. So why are teams suddenly so hot on ‘Whites’? Well, they can do a lot of things. They can shoot, they can post, they can rebound, and cost a lot cheaper. They’re notoriously poor on defense and on the blocks but with their size and the lack of big men in the PBA, that doesn’t figure to be a problem at all. Look at Parada, he was not known as a shotblocker but he’s putting up quite a show here. They’re not as flashy as their African-American counterparts, but they’re solid, consistent, more effective and plays team ball.
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Barakos no longer an underdog

red-bull_barakos.gifThe Red Bull Barakos (now known as Barako Energy Coffee Mix) made a lot of believers with their inspired plays last conference. Losing stalwarts Enrico Villanueva and Larry Fonacier from last season would have made a devastating impact on a franchise, but the Barakos are no ordinary team. They’re made of sterner stuff.

Overcoming tremendous odds, the Barakos finished third in the conference, falling only one game short of a championship appearance. Cyrus Baguio took over the team and played like a man possessed. He was the team’s do-it-all guy, leading the team in scoring (17.72 ppg), assists (4.12 apg) and steals (1.2 spg), often wowing the viewing public with his vast array of acrobatic shots and daredevil plays.
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Mexican baller for Red Bull

826_mex_adam_parada.jpg Coach Yeng Guiao and the Red Bull Barakos couldn’t get enough of Juan Manuel Marquez so they’re hiring a compatriot, a seven-foot Mexican who was born and raised in the US – 7-0 265-lb Adam Parada. The 26-year old Parada was one of the last cuts on the Los Angeles Lakers’ training camp. Parada hopes to be the next Mexican to play in the NBA after Horacio Llamas and Eduardo Najera.

Parada was a stalwart in college, playing four solid years for the University of California-Irvine Anteaters. Despite his college credentials, Parada was not drafted by any team in the 2004 NBA Draft. Hoopsanalyst.com has an interesting read on Parada: “Parada has good size, but seems kind of soft. His rebounding and shot-blocking have been ordinary. The only impressive number on his resume is the .581 FG pct. Even that is less impressive considering Parada averaged only 12 ppg for consecutive seasons. Not much of a prospect, but his size could get him a shot.
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