A QUICK look at the current roster of Meralco has Jong Uichico convinced the team would need an import that can do a “little of everything” as the Bolts try to bounce back from a forgettable stint in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Uichico, currently among the deputy coaches of Ryan Gregorio at Meralco, explained that he’d suggest bringing in an import who’s “athletic and a guy who can get his offense from somewhere else” for the coming Commissioner’s Cup that kicks off on March 7.
“Remember that now, we have a different set of local players in the team compared to last year,” Uichico told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
“We didn’t have Mike Cortez, DI (Danny Ildefonso), and JD (Jared Dillinger), those key players we have now. So now, we need someone you can go to and give you the scoring opportunities somewhere else,” he added.
Winner of six league championships, Uichico, hopes the import Meralco will be tapping is someone who could provide the scoring sock through hustle and rebounding.
The 51-year-old veteran coach said he couldn’t say if Eric Dawson, the team’s high-scoring import last season, will return for another tour of duty with the Bolts since the decision still lies on Gregorio.
“Sa ngayon, I haven’t had any advice (regarding the import),” he said.
The 6-foot-10 Dawson registered two 50 or more points performance during his stint with the Bolts in last year’s Commissioner’s Cup.
The 2012 NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year dropped 57 points against Petron before scoring 50 against Rain or Shine at the close of the elimination round.
The former Midwestern State University product went on to average 29.5 points, 16.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 3.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks for the Bolts.
This season, the Bolts could actually tap a 6-foot-11 for the mid-season conference following their ninth place finish in the All-Filipino conference.
League format has the top eight finishers in the Philippine Cup allowed to bring in a 6-foot-9 import, while the last two teams get the right to tap in 6-foot-11 imports and above.