AFTER their forgettable experience with Jackson Vroman last season, Barangay Ginebra and its legions of fans can't help but be skeptical when it comes to new imports.
Herbert Hill, though, was more than willing to give reassurance.
The incoming Ginebra import on Wednesday declared he is "no Jackson Vroman," insisting that he is a far better player than the naturalized Lebanese who became remembered for his atrocious free-throw shooting than anything else during the team's run to the semifinals in the Commissioner's Cup last season.
“Who’s better? I feel I’m better but I’ll show that to the fans this season," said the second-round pick of the Utah Jazz in the 2007 NBA rookie draft. "They have nothing to worry about.”
Hill, a college teammate at Providence of naturalized player Marcus Douthit, also assured that there's nothing to worry about as far as his own free-throw shooting - supposedly an Achilles heel - is concerned.
“Tell them not to worry about my free throws, I’ll be fine,” was Hill’s message to all the 'kabarangays.'
The 6-10 import claimed he and Vroman played for the same team in the Korean league. Vroman was cut while he stayed on, Hill added.
“I replaced him and my stats will back it up. Me and Jackson are totally different players," he said.
When asked if he wants another Jackson Vroman as an import, team superstar Mark Caguioa cracked up while letting his sparring partner Jayjay Heltebrand do the talking.
“I’m praying he (Hill) won’t be … a bum,” Helterbrand said laughing.
Forward Rico Maierhofer had an even more candid take on the two imports.
“Mabait si Hill, normally kasi pag mabait (ang import) hindi magaling, pag mayabang… alam mo na. Pero we’ll see," he said.
"Sana lang di siya tulad ni Vroman. Hindi na mabait, tapos…" Maierhofer added, stopping short of completing his sentence as he burst out laughing.