THINGS happened so fast Sunday night for Alaska do-it-all import Robert Dozier.
He was named Best Import just before the start of Game Three of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. And by the time the final buzzer sounded two hours later, Dozier was officially a champion himself.
“I feel great about this (championship) man. This really hasn’t hit me yet, but maybe when I wake up in the morning it will hit me,” said Dozier, obviously still in cloud nine after the Aces wrapped up the best-of-five title series with a three-game sweep of crowd favorite Ginebra at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska clinched its 14th league title overall with a 104-80 Game Three win.
“Now, I can finally say I’m a champion. It’s a special feeling,” said Dozier, who several times in the past came close to winning a championship but always wound up short.
“And really, I want to thank all my teammates and coaching staff for this,” added Dozier, a teammate of NBA superstar Derrick Rose with the Memphis Tigers that finished runner-up behind the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2008 US NCAA Finals.
Dozier said it felt good to play for a team and a coaching staff that allows him to play to his strengths and be able to focus on doing the dirty work.
At the same time, he also complimented his frontline partners Sonny Thoss, the Finals MVP, Gabby Espinas, and flamboyant rookie Calvin Abueva for making things easier for him in his first ever foray in Asia’s pioneering pro league.
“They make the game easy for you. Because you can focus on one or two things, not three or four things,” said the 6-foot-9 Dozier.
“All these guys are physical and play defense, they complement a lot.”
Dozier punctuated his first career championship by scoring 27 points, 20 rebounds, and a Finals-high six blocks during the title-clinching victory.