GLOBALPORT hopes to turn things around this early in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup by bringing in veteran international campaigner Calvin Warner to replace CJ Leslie.
The Batang Pier, who opened the mid-season conference with a 100-89 win over KIA Carnival, lost their last two games against defending champion Purefoods (83-70) and Rain or Shine (104-98).
Leslie couldn’t seem to bring in the much-needed lift for the Batang Pier franchise that management decided to give him the pink slip and bring in the 235-pound Warner instead.
Through three games, the athletic Leslie averaged 29.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.6 blocks for GlobalPort but wasn't the intimidating inside operator the team needs right now.
Now the team is pinning its hopes on the well-travelled Warner.
The 34-year-old Warner, who saw action for the Jacksonville Dolphins, an NCAA Division 1 school in the Atlantic Sun Conference, has had extensive overseas experience, mostly in the Middle East.
Warner has played in Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Korean Basketball League with the LG Sakers, where he averaged 16.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per contest during the 2008 season.
The incoming import is described as “very athletic and versatile forward that can do everything from passing, defending, scoring, rebounding all while playing inside and out.”
The one-time Iran Super League Center of the Year hopefully could bring in a solid inside presence the Batang Pier needed especially in the absence of injured big men Yancy de Ocampo (back) and Kelly Nabong (knee).
Should Warner pass the height requirements on Monday, he is expected to play for GlobalPort on Tuesday in a match against Alaska at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.