All-Import List

Who were the best shooters among PBA imports? Who were the best shotblockers? I have compiled a list of the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Feel free to air your comments and suggestions. Here it goes…


They love to throw bombs and are accurate marksmen

Jose Slaughter (Hills Bros). Still holds the record of 14 three-pointers among imports in a game.

Freeman Williams (Tanduay). One of the top pure shooters to grace the game. Was the second all-time scoring leader in US NCAA history, trailing only the legendary “Pistol” Pete Maravich.

Rob Williams (Tanduay). Could from anywhere on the floor even with his eyes closed. Once set the record of 13 three-pointers in a game before Slaughter and Allan Caidic came.

Jay Taylor (San Miguel, Purefoods). A great shooter, his shot was not the only one legendary but his ballhogging ways as well. Could have been the reason why the PBA instituted the 3-second ballhogging rule.

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My Best Imports of All-Time

In the current Fiesta Cup, it’s easy to spot Purefoods’ Darius Rice, Coca-Cola’s Jason Dixon, Red Bull’s Adam Parada and Sta. Lucia’s Wesley Wilson as standouts among the field of 10. They’re not only filling up the boxscores but are also helping their teams get headway in the tournament. Rice is the optimum shooter while Wilson is the classic shotblocker. Parada is the perennial team player while Dixon the consummate interior operator. How do they stack up against the best of all-time? Well, I have compiled a list of imports who, I think, have made a great impression in our shores. Check it out. In no particular order…

Billy Ray Bates (6’3″ Crispa, Ginebra) – Nicknamed the “Black Superman”, he’s probably the most exciting import to grace Philippine shores. He’s a two-time Best Import awardee and led Crispa to its second grandslam in 1983. He returned to the PBA in 1986 to form a monstrous tandem with Michael Hackett in the Open Conference and led the Gins to its first PBA crown. A power slammer and a feared rainbow hitman, he’s the only import to win two Best Import awards in the same season. He bowed out of the scene in 1988 due to drinking problems, but still no one can deny, he was the ultimate showman among all imports of all time.

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The Imports: First Impressions

So far, we’ve seen some jewels from the current batch of imports playing in the Fiesta Cup. Two (Rashon Turner and Jason Keep) were already given the pink slip after just two games, while two or three others are in danger of getting replaced, especially if their teams continue to struggle. So after two weeks, here are my observations on all the imports.

Jason Dixon (Coca-Cola) – he’s turning out to be a gem of a recruit for the Tigers. Dixon is already 35 but he doesn’t look like his age. Even without import partner Calvin Cage, Dixon has been magnificent, leading the Tigers to a perfect 3-0 W-L slate and the bragging rights as the best team in the tourney. Dixon has been a winner all his life and is using his vast experience in playing overseas to good use.
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Ho-hum, these imports are boring!

Wesley Wilson’s shotblocking skills will come in handy for the Realtors

Unless Darius Rice, Wesley Wilson, Jameel Watkins and Randy Holcomb can put on a performance that can blow me off, this conference will be destined for the pits. Ok I have relatively high expectations. Coca-Cola and Welcoat have been given a privilege to recruit two imports and ended up with lemons (ok maybe a “lemon” is too harsh a word). Jason Dixon is good. Aaron McGhee is average. Calvin Cage and Cory Santee are quick and nothing else. Steve Thomas is the CBA’s leading rebounder but can’t get 20 rebounds in his PBA debut. Rashon Turner, despite getting 19 rebounds last Sunday, looked ordinary. Adam Parada is ok with a 28-point, 21-rebound, 5-block performance but he did it because he is 7’0″ and utilized his vast experience. And no, he didn’t make me jump for joy either. With this present batch, I expect majority to be given the pink slip in April.
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Scoring demon to reinforce Purefoods

Darius Rice If there is one thing Darius Rice can do best on the basketball court, it’s putting the ball inside the hoop. The 6’10” 222-lb Rice is known as a dangerous offensive player with a knack for hitting shots from way beyond the three-point arc.

In the championship game in the NBDL last year, Rice put on one of the best, if not the best, scoring performances in league history. He exploded for 52 big points, highlighted by 11 triples – including one that sent the game into overtime with four seconds left. The Dakota Wizards went on to win the title after dominating the overtime period. Rice copped the finals MVP trophy.

It’s the kind of performance the Purefoods TJ Giants hope to see when Rice puts on the team jersey in the 2008 PBA Fiesta Cup. The team is in the midst of finalizing contract details with the ex-Miami Hurricane standout and if the negotiations pull through, the Giants will have in their hands, a certified scorer who can shoot the lights out in any given day. It will not be surprising if Rice goes on to average 60 points a game because that’s what he do best. With James Yap, Peter June Simon, and Rice, Purefoods will have the best perimeter weapons in town.
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The imports are coming!

Wesley Wilson
Can Wesley Wilson carry the Realtors to a coveted Grand Slam?

With only a few weeks to go prior to the start of the 2008 PBA Fiesta Cup (League opens on March 29 in Panabo City, Davao del Norte), teams are in frantic search to acquire highly-talented imports overseas to beef up their lineup. The height restrictions for foreign reinforcements have been scrapped to give way to mastodons such as ex-Red Bull and now Miami Heat cager 7’0″ Earl Barron to play in the league. Three years ago when the same system was implemented, Talk N Text’s 6’8″ Jerald Honeycutt stood tall against the giants and copped the PBA Best Import trophy, while leading the Phonepals to a second place finish.

In addition, the league also gave a concession to the Welcoat Dragons and the Coca-Cola Tigers (for finishing 9th and 10th at the end of the classification) to bring in another import standing not lower than 6’1″.
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