THE Philippine Patriots found small consolation in a disappointing Asean Basketball League campaign after Anthony Johnson was named Best Import of the regular season.
Johnson, who averaged a second-best 23.7 points a game, beat out Malaysia’s Tiras Wade and Saigon’s Jonathan Jones for the coveted honor.
It marked the second time a Patriots import won the award after Jason Dixon first achieved the feat during the inaugural 2009-2010 season.
Nakiea Miller, the Patriots’ other import this year, also won the same award last year while playing for the Malaysia Dragons.
Johnson steered the Patriots to a 16-5 win-loss record in the eliminations. But the inaugural champions failed to make it to a third successive Finals appearance after they were swept by the Indonesia Warriors in the semifinals.
The three-year-old league begun announcing its individual awards through its website, with the Most Valuable Player award to be named soon.
Filipinos Leo Avenido of the San Miguel Beermen and Al Vergara of the Patriots, who recently signed with Barako Bull in the PBA, are the two leading candidates for the league’s highest individual award along with Mario Wuysang of the Indonesia Warriors.
Todd Purves, the first-year head mentor of the Indonesia Warriors, was named Season 3 Coach of the Year, while Indonesia’s Steve Thomas, a former import of the Patriots, is the Defensive Player of the Year.
Meanwhile, Rob Wainwright, another Philippine Patriots stalwart, will be playing for a Malaysian selection that will be facing a team led by NBA legends Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in Kuala Lumpur on July 16.
Pippen and Rodman will head to the country two days later and play another exhibition game at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. No opponent has yet been named.