ANOTHER PBA import is open to hopping on the Gilas Pilipinas naturalization train.
After TNT’s Donte Greene, Alaska reinforcement Cory Jefferson expressed the possibility of being the national team’s reinforcement in the future.
“I wouldn't mind it,” Jefferson quickly replied after being asked on the possibility, after leading the Aces to a 98-92 victory over Mahindra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has long expressed the possibility of naturalizing not just one, but a pool of prospects to give the national team options.
[See Donte Greene open to becoming naturalized player for Gilas]
Andray Blatche is the team’s current naturalized player, although the NBA veteran’s return to the fold for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship is still under negotiations.
The SBP has the option to look at the current imports in the PBA, including Jefferson, a 26-year-old former NBA player, who can play inside and out, as evidenced by his four triples against the Floodbuster.
Jefferson set the tone for the Aces’ victory over Mahindra as he scattered 17 of his 30 points points in the first quarter.
“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive,” the 6-foot-9 American said.
Jefferson continued to build cohesion with his teammates as he finished with 11 boards, one assist in 34 minutes.
“I feel like it's been a good fit, everybody's playing well. Great chemistry,” Jefferson said. “Definitely still working on a few things but we feel it would just get better from here.”