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My Best Imports of All-Time

Monday, April 21st, 2008

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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