IMPORT James Dollard hopes he could bring in the “extra punch” Barako Bull needs in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup set to kick off next Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-7 Dollard planed in on Monday afternoon straight from Finland as a last-minute replacement for Dwayne Chism, who had a contractual foul-up with his former team in Hungary last weekend.
The former Auburn Tiger forward gave a good account of himself in his first tuneup game, firing 18 of his 30 points in the second half as Barako Bull's match against GlobalPort ended in a draw, 89-all, on Thursday.
The athletic and high-leaping Dollard missed his last shot, a tough drive against GlobalPort import Evan Brock’s defense to end the game in a deadlock.
“I have a good feel on who can do what. A lot of guys here (in Barako Bull) have the talent so I just give them the extra punch and do something good here,” Dollard told Spin.ph after the tuneup match.
The 28-year-old Dollard, who also had extensive basketball experience overseas, said he’ll simply have to plug the holes in the team has especially since the conference will have teams playing only nine games each in the eliminations.
“That’s pretty much the import’s job to do is, whether scoring, rebounding, making play for somebody else to score, stopping other team’s import from scoring and do everything to lead team to victory,” added the Hemingway, South Carolina native.
Dollard said he’s been good friends with Brock, a former Barako Bull import with whom he had a chance to play against during their college days as well as in their stint in the Dominican Republic.
“Yeah, I played against Evan at the Dominican Republic and I played against him also in college,” shared Dollard, who averaged 20.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals for Korihait in Finland this past season.
“Our colleges are the biggest rivals in college basketball. He (Brock) attended Alabama and I attended the Auburn Tigers, but we’re good friends because in basketball, it’s like a fraternity, you kind of get in touch with people there.”