TNT team manager Jojo Lastimosa got a helping hand from a close buddy from the past to land the Tropang Giga’s import for the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Lastimosa disclosed former Alaska teammate and import Sean Chambers helped him scout for a possible import in the US recently, eventually signing one in former Houston Rocket Cameron Oliver.
The 26-year-old California native arrived in the country on Sunday and was at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday when the Tropang Giga scored a 102-93 win over San Miguel to take a 3-2 series lead in the Philippine Cup finals.
“Nag-recommend sa kanya (Oliver) sa akin si Sean Chambers kasi kilala niya si Cam, taga-Sacramento din siya,” said Lastimosa.
The TNT executive scouted for possible imports in the recent Summer League, where he hooked up with Chambers and ironically, Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who was with the Miami Heat coaching staff for a brief stint.
Lastimosa and Chambers played under Cone when the defunct Alaska franchise was winning one championship after another in the 90s and part of 2000s, including a rare grand slam in 1996.
Being new to the business of scouting imports overseas, Lastimosa admitted Chambers was a huge help for him.
“Kung wala sia Sean doon sa Summer League, hindi ko makikita itong si Cam,” he said.
At the same time, the PBA great said it was a learning experience for him personally going to the games as he was able to meet players’ agents and potential imports the Tropang Giga can tap in the future.
“Ang dami kong na-meet na mga agents din doon, ang dami ko ring nakuha na mga players na available in the near future,” said Lastimosa, one of the 25 Greatest Players in PBA history. “It was a good experience for me.”
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