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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Darius proves there is no rice shortage in the country

He was good as advertised. Scouting reports pegged him as a cold-blooded scorer, one of the best pure shooting strokes outside of the NBA, and they were right. Darius Rice‘s 56 points on 6 of 17 shooting from deep 3 was reminiscement of his 52-point outburst in the NBDL championship game last year. Rice scored the marginal basket – a breakaway side-stepping move – to give the Giants a 127-126 double OT win over the new-look Magnolia Beverage Masters.
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Giant steps for Purefoods

purefoods_tj-giants.gifThe fanatics of the Purefoods TJ Giants received quite a jolt in the offseason involving its two top frontcourt stars. Rommel Adducul will be sidelined for the remainder of the season to undergo treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer while energetic forward Jean Marc Pingris has been traded to Magnolia for Enrico Villanueva to fill the void at the center position. As of presstime, the Giants have been trying to lure Rich Alvarez out of Red Bull to replace Pingris’ slot but it appears that the Barakos have other plans (at least not in exchange for Richard Yee).
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Shocking PBA trade: Villanueva to Purefoods, Pingris to Magnolia

pingris.pngIt’s a sad day to be a Purefoods fan. The TJ Giants have just traded the exciting Jean Marc Pingris to Magnolia for center Enrico Villanueva. As part of the deal, Magnolia will also received Chester Tolomia from Coca-Cola. The Tigers will receive shooter Mark Macapagal (and a future draft pick) from Brgy. Ginebra while the Gin Kings got the bull-strong Willie Wilson from Magnolia.

The trade was spurred by the sidelining of Purefoods center Rommel Adducul. The 6-6 ex-San Sebastian standout is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment after having been diagnosed with nasopharynx cancer. The timetable for his return is still indefinite and will depend on how well he responds to treatment.
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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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