Former Georgetown Hoyas slotman Henry Sims may just be Petron's third import this conference.
A source informed Spin.ph that Sims has already come to terms with Petron but is not certain to make it in time for the team’s next game, forcing the Boosters to tap the import of their sister team in the ABL as cover.
Sims is currently playing for the Erie BayHawks and sources said Petron has expressed willingness to buy out his contract with the NBA D-League squad. The SMC-owned squad is also in a rush to send Sims his flight documents.
But there’s one hitch.
The buyout money for the 6-10 Sims – an undrafted center who was signed and waived by the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Hornets in the past two NBA seasons – can’t be sent immediately because Philippine banks and remittance centers are close for the Lenten break.
But in case Sims doesn’t make it in time for Petron’s next game on April 5, sources said San Miguel import Gabe Freeman might just be tapped as a stand-in replacement for the ineffective Rodney White.
The hard slashing 6-6 forward, who also replaced White last season with Barako Bull, has already recovered from an MCL sprain that has kept him out of the Beermen lineup for the last four weeks, sources said.
"Okay na si Gabe. May go-signal na siya kahapon from his doctor. Cleared na siya sa kanyang MRI scan so he can play," said the source, who also revealed that Freeman has already been joining the Beermen's practices over the last four days
"Healthy na siya eh. Nakukuha na ulit yung groove niya," he added.
The only problem now for Freeman at San Miguel is that his spot is already occupied by Justin Williams, the former Globalport import, since last month.
"Yun nga ang problema ngayon sa coaching staff ng San Miguel. Kasi hindi alam kung paano pa isisingit si Gabe ... Maganda nilalaro ni Justin. Very intimidating sa mga wingmen ng kalaban," said the source.
"So kung kukunin ng Petron si Gabe, bawas problema na ang San Miguel coaching staff... Kasi stick na sila kay Justin at kay Brian Williams," said a Petron insider, who revealed that the ABL has an April 7 deadline for the naming of the final lineup for the playoffs.
White took over from the banned Renaldo Balkman but has been a big disappointment, averaging just seven points, seven rebounds and 1.5 blocks in losses to Talk 'N Text and the Alaska Aces.