ALASKA'S returning import Robert Dozier said he'd rather help the Aces rediscover their winning touch than worry about other teams, particularly Barangay Ginebra, which has gone bigger this season with the entry of 'Twin Towers' Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.
“I didn’t get to see the (Philippine Cup semifinal) games, but I see a little rerun that came on yesterday, though Ginebra? I’m only worried about Alaska man,” Dozier shared to Spin.ph just before starting his hour-long shooting on Monday afternoon at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
They Said It!
“We got to do what we did in the (Commissioner’s Cup), play the way we did and play together." - Alaska Aces import Robert Dozier
"We got to do what we did in the past (Commissioner’s Cup), play the way we did and play together, that’s the biggest thing for me," he added.
The 6’8 and 1/2 Dozier planed in only last Saturday and admitted his body is still adjusting to the different time zone as well as the humidity in Manila.
But the former Memphis Tiger forward said he’s excited to play again with the Aces, the team he led to the Commissioner’s Cup title last season via a 3-0 Finals sweep of Ginebra on the way to winning the Bobby Parks-Best Import award.
Dozier, though, has spent the last 10 months away from any professional basketball competition after suffering from a sprained ankle and, eventually, failing to land a good contract in China.
“Actually, the Ginebra (Commissioner’s Cup Finals last season) was my last game because last summer, I had an ankle injury against San Mig and after that, I tried to come back and play,” recalled the 28-year-old Dozier.
“But I still had pain (on his ankle) so I went to see a doctor and I ended up having to sit out till the second week of July (2013),” he said.
“After that, I want to go try out for the NBA (Summer League) but I was informed by my agent that I had a good deal for China, but the China thing didn’t work out, so I ended up waiting for some good deals in Europe till I wanted to come back here (in the PBA),” he added.
The Lithonia, Georgia-born Dozier, however, said he made sure he stays in shape by playing numerous pick-up games and personal training since he anticipated his return with the Aces, who are coming off an eighth-place finish in the Philippine Cup after bowing to Ginebra in their knockout quarterfinal match.
“I just played pick-up games, training and doing what I can to stay in shape so it was very long, very boring, but I’m excited to finally be able to come and play (for the Aces),” he said.
Dozier, a college teammate of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose in Memphis, finished the mid-season conference last year with impressive numbers of 20.1 points, 17. rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.5 assists in more than 42 minutes of play to help the Aces to an 18-4 win-loss record in the Commissioner’s Cup.