Air21 import Michael Dunigan is now in town, and he knows his job is to score, control the boards, and be an intimidating factor on the defensive end for the Express.
So far, signs are positive that he can deliver all that after in his first practice on Saturday at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
A legitimate big man with a solid post-up play and strong rebounding skills, Pumaren said the 24-year-old Dunigan is the guy they exactly need to battle against the pro league’s big teams like defending Commissioner’s Cup champion San Mig Coffee, Talk ‘N Text and Petron Blaze.
“He can definitely give us the size, the scoring and rebounding, plus he’s a legitimate big guy who can play inside,” said Pumaren, whose team is coming off a quarterfinal appearance in the Philippine Cup.
Dunigan said he knows he can plug the hole in the middle for the team considering that Rob Reyes is the team’s only legitimate big man at this point.
“I can play in the four and five positions though for the team right now, I’m gonna be more of a scorer and also a defensive player, which I’ve been specializing in. I know I’ve got to bring the offense into this team and defense also,” the 6-10 import told Spin.ph.
Dunigan is coming off a four-game stint with the Perth Wildcats in Australia’s National Basketball League, where he averaged 13.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocked shots and one assist as a replacement for then injured big man Matt Knight.
He’s hoping that the competition this coming conference can help him improve his skills considering that he still has high hopes of playing in the NBA in the future.
“Coach told me, ‘You'll average 28 minutes, but get ready to play about 40 minutes.’ It will be more of a challenge. First time for me to play that long,” he said.
“I heard it’s physical, too. I’ve been physical as well. Playing in Australia, I’m used to the contact, but everything changes. The biggest was the 7-2 I played against in NBL,” added Dunigan, who played high school basketball at the Farragut Career Academy, the same school attended by Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett.
Dunigan played two years for the University of Oregon from 2008-2010 before singing a professional contract to play for the Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem in the Israeli Basketball Super League.
Dunigan joined the Memphis Grizzlies’ preseason training camp before being waived late in October 2012.