LUIGI Trillo said he’d be biased to say Alaska reinforcement Robert Dozier is his hands-down choice for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup’s Best Import award.
But two other coaches, Junel Baculi of Globalport and Rajko Toroman of Barako Bull, are one in saying Dozier is a cinch for the mid-season conference award given to the finest import.
“I think si Dozier lang ang import na di napalitan ngayong conference, so naka-kolekta na agad siya ng maraming stats. For me, I think he’s the top import right now,” Baculi told Spin.ph when asked who his choice for the award is.
For the record, only three other teams outside of Alaska never changed import during the tournament, namely Rain or Shine (Bruno Sundov), Air21 (Michael Dunigan), and Meralco (Eric Dawson).
Toroman for his part, said on his list of top contenders for the Best Import plum - Dozier, Ginebra’s Vernon Macklin, and San Mig Coffee’s Denzel Bowles.
But among the three, Toroman feels Dozier has the edge.
“Robert Dozier can play multiple positions. He can play the three, the four, and even the five positions. For me, he’s the top candidate because he’s quick for his size and he really grabs those rebounds for Alaska,” noted Toroman.
Meantime, Trillo said Dozier’s contributions to the team goes’ beyond the stats.
“What he’s (Dozier) done for the team is really remarkable. But then, I’ll be partial for Robert because he’s playing for me,” said Trillo.
The Alaska mentor, though, commended Macklin for carrying the load and leading the Kings during their topsy-turvy run to the Finals.
“The first game (of Macklin), I think we have to take into consideration that he still doesn’t have the legs under him. But now he’s learned more how to play with physicality. Vernon Macklin is a stud,” he said.
On the other hand, Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua credited Macklin for his leadership in guiding the Kings to their first Finals appearance since losing to Talk ‘N Text in the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
“Siyempre, pipiliin ko si Vernon. Kundi dahil sa kanya wala kami rito. After Mark Caguioa went down, then Rudy Hatfield and Billy Mamaril went down too with injuries, we were still winning.
“It’s not about Vernon scoring 30 or 40 points, but it’s his leadership inside the court that’s important,” said Chua, as he expressed hope the 6-foot-10 Macklin would win the award.
The Best Import award will be handed out before Game Three of the Finals on Sunday.