GLOBALPORT import CJ Leslie may just be a second choice of the Batang Pier for import in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
But the former North Carolina State standout intends to prove his worth with the franchise.
He exactly did that Tuesday as the athletic American forward played impressively in the Batang Pier’s 99-94 win over Barako Bull Tuesday at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside Ateneo.
The 23-year-old Leslie showed quickness in transition and provided the energy off the boards to help the Batang Pier even their tune-up record at 1-1.
“I’ll just provide a lot of energy with the way I play, just run up and down, and lead the team in transition,” said Leslie, who was tapped by Globalport after original choice Rod Benson exceeded the conference height limit.
Although he only arrived in Manila a few days ago, Leslie said he likes the idea Globalport rookie coach Eric Gonzales does in reminding him to play according to his strengths.
“I think I’m adapting good. Like everybody, we just need to get used to playing with each other and move and get used to where we want to be on the court,” he said.
Leslie also added his lean frame is not a deterrent for him defending against bigger imports while he tries to adjust with the PBA brand of play.
“I guarded 4s and 5s so I guess I’ll be ready in the PBA, and yeah, I’m comfortable and I’m working on all my game,” he said.
Leslie was once a former high school teammate of Washington Wizards star John Wall.
The forward who hails from Holly Springs, North Carolina, played for the New York Knicks in the 2013 NBA Summer League.
He also saw action for the Erie Bayhawks and the Idaho Stampede, before suiting up for the Anyang KGC in the Korean Basketball League.