TWO new-look teams parade their respective foreign and local recruits on Friday as TNT KaTropa and Blackwater face off in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Texters are fielding new import Donte Greene while Niño Canaleta and Mark Cruz will be making their debuts for the Elite when the two teams tangle in the first game of the doubleheader at 4:15 p.m.
The Texters aim for their second straight win after starting the conference on the wrong foot, and they hope to do that behind the Greene, who replaced fellow NBA veteran Lou Amundson.
The 29-year-old Greene is eager to bring TNT to the finals after the MVP flagship franchise fell short of making the title round in the Philippine Cup.
“Hopefully. I’m here to win,” said Greene, who last year led the title conquest of Leones de Santo Domingo of Dominican Republic, one of his stops after playing four years in the NBA. “I won a championship last summer in the Dominican Republic, so I look to bring some of the magic here to get the championship.”
Greene, who was officially measured at 6-foot-9, played both forward spots in the NBA and his best season came in his sophomore year in 2009-10 when he averaged 8.5 points along with 3.1 boards in 21.4 minutes in 76 games, including 50 starts, for Sacramento.
Greene, though, is expected to man the middle for the Texters as he matches up with another former NBA player in Greg Smith, who has yet to lead to lead the Elite to a win through three outings.
With an undermanned roster, the Elite brought in local reinforcements in Canaleta through a trade with GlobalPort, and Cruz from free agency.
Elite coach Leo Isaac and team manager Johnson Martines confirmed that Canaleta and Cruz are playing against the Texters, although insiders said Mac Belo is doudtful due to a recurring knee injury.
NLEX, stuck with Blackwater at the bottom - winless after three starts, also fields a new player in Rabeh Al-Hussaini as the Road Warriors likewise seek to barge into the win column in their 7 p.m. matchup against Star, which is unbeaten in its first two games.