EYEING no less than a PBA championship, San Miguel Beer is bringing in a certified NBA veteran in Oscar Joshua 'Josh' Boone for the Commissioner’s Cup that kicks off on March 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
New coach Biboy Ravanes on Wednesday confirmed San Miguel's decision to sign Boone, adding the former New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Net is arriving over the weekend to join the Beermen in practice.
Although listed as 6-foot-10 in most online websites, Ravanes is confident the 29-year-old American center/forward could make the 6-foot-9 height limit allowed for teams that placed in the top eight of the season-opening Philippine Cup.
Ravanes also said the team has high hopes the well-built Boone will fit the bill as he tries to form an imposing frontline along with Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo and reigning league MVP Arwind Santos.
“Based sa usap namin ni coach Todd (Purves), we’re hoping that he could fit and work well with June Mar and Arwind. We hope mag-complement sila,” Ravanes told Spin.ph shortly after the team’s afternoon practice at the Acropolis gym in Libis, Quezon City.
Boone, the 23rd overall pick by New Jersey in the NBA 2006 Annual Draft, played four seasons for the Nets. He averaged a career-high 8.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes during his sophomore season with the team.
A member of the University of Connecticut Huskies that won the 2004 US NCAA championship over Georgia Tech, Boone owned an NBA career average of 5.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 17.5 minutes through 256 games.
Boone also had stints with the Zheijang Golden Bulls in the Chinese Basketball Association and with the Iowa Energy over the past two years.
This will be the second straight season San Miguel will be bringing in a certified NBA veteran for its import.
In last season’s Commissioner’s Cup, the team brought in former New York Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman, who helped the team to a fast 5-0 start.
Balkman though went wild near the end of Petron’s elimination round loss to Alaska, which subsequently prompted league commissioner Chito Salud to ban the former NBA veteran for life.
The Boosters eventually finished sixth in the mid-season conference under rookie coach Olsen Racela.