PHOENIX coach Ariel Vanguardia is hardly worried that his team is the only one that has yet to sign an import for the PBA Governors Cup next month.
While the rest of the 11 teams have already named an import, the Fuel Masters are still in search for the right one ahead of the season-ending conference that is tentatively set to open on July 15.
“I’m not worried that we’re the only ones without an import, but right now, we’re working hard to get one,” Vanguardia told SPIN.ph after practice on Friday. “We have a lot of options.”
The new Fuel Masters coach stressed that most of the teams’ imports will also be arriving in the last week of June, anyway.
“Usually I need two weeks with the import and that will be enough,” he said. “I don’t want it to be a quick decision, because I know that that decision is very critical.”
“I’m really careful of bringing guys in because usually I don’t replace my imports and I want him to grow with the team,” the reigning Asean Basketball League champion coach added.
Hearing no reply after giving a deadline to first-choice reinforcement DeAndre Liggins, Vanguardia is now looking at their second option, which he declined to name.
Ultimately, the Fuel Masters hope to secure the services of an import this weekend and have him in Manila by next week.
Still, Vanguardia is not closing the door on Liggins, listed at 6’6” and a three-year NBA veteran wingman.
“I’m still keeping my fingers crossed because I know he’s (good), but the next in line will be similar to him,” he said.
The Fuel Masters are also planning to tap an Asian reinforcement, depending on who can complement their main import.
“It’s down to a Korean or a Japanese,” Vanguardia revealed. “If it’s Liggins, it would be the Korean or if it’s another one, it might be the Japanese.”