ALASKA Milk’s pursuit of former Los Angeles Lakers backup center DJ Mbenga bogged down over the weekend, forcing coach Luigi Trillo at another NBA veteran who he hopes to sign in time for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Feb. 8.
“He’s (Mbenga) asking a (salary that's) over the salary cap for imports. It’s a dead spot. He’s looking more for the money. Plus he said he’s not gonna stay long so now we’re looking for a new one,” Trillo said in a talk with Spin.ph.
The Aces are coming off their strongest showing yet in the post-Tim Cone era after reaching the Philippine Cup semifinals before eventually losing to reigning champion Talk ‘N Text in their semifinals series, 4-2
The Alaska mentor declined to mention the name of the import the franchise is considering at the moment, though he hopes to seal a deal with the American reinforcement prospect come Tuesday.
“We’re looking for an import who can provide versatility and be a post threat at the same time. Since in a conference with an unlimited height, it’s a rarity to get an import who scores from the outside,” said Trillo, whose 12-9 record overall in the Philippine Cup already surpassed the 11 wins Alaska had last season.
The seven-foot Mbenga was part of the Lakers’ back-to-back championship squad in 2009 and 2010 season. The 255-pound Mbenga, who began his NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks, also saw action for the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Hornets.
He is coming off a stint with the Qingdao Doublestar in the Chinese Basketball Association last November.