NEW Petron import Henry Sims is set to arrive Wednesday morning and will most likely suit up for the Boosters in the game against Meralco on Friday, leaving stand-in Gabe Freeman out in the cold.
San Miguel Corporation head of basketball operations and current PBA chairman Robert Non confirmed to Spin.ph that Sims will immediately join his new teammates in practice on Wednesday and will likely see action as early as Friday against the Bolts.
“He’ll most likely suit up na for Petron on Friday,” said Non.
Also previously eyed by San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra for the mid-season conference, Sims averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.51 blocks in 31.8 minutes of action for the Erie BayHawks in the NBA D-League.
Sims' expected arrival is set to derail the Petron homecoming of Freeman, who had been eyed to play at least two games while the Boosters awaited a permanent replacement for Rodney White.
Freeman, who has been practicing with the team since Sunday, has already been informed of Sims' arrival by Petron coach Olsen Racela.
“Wala naming problema kay Gabe, kasi napakabait na tao nun,” said Non. “Saka alam naman niya yung set-up na he can play or not."
Non admitted that negotiations with Sims hit a snag on Sunday after his coach with the BayHawks tried to persuade the seven-footer to stay on as the team makes a run at the playoffs.
But the SMC official said it was Sims who decided to fly in immediately.
“May three games pa kasi yung BayHawks sa eliminations. Since malaking bagay sa kanila si Sims, nakikiusap yung coach na huwag munang umalis,” bared Non. “Kaso ang si Sims ang may gustong lumaro sa amin”.
The agreement was only sealed early Tuesday morning, after the partial payment of the buyout money was wired to the BayHawks on Monday afternoon.
A source told Spin.ph the remaining balance of the buyout payment will be sent as soon as Sims arrives.