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    Gigantic showdown as 7-foot-2 Sundov tests Mbenga's mettle

    Apr 12, 2013
    “Facing a seven-footer is never an issue for me, never been a problem. It's guarding the smaller guys that I sometimes have a difficult time with," says Rain or Shine import Bruno Sundov ahead of his showdown with fellow NBA veteran DJ Mbenga o

    BRUNO Sundov is gearing up for his gigantic match-up with DJ Mbenga on Friday when Rain or Shine and Barako Bull clash in the main game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    While the showdown features two seven-foot imports going at each other, Sundov doesn’t see anything exceptional about it, having faced countless players of his size - or some even bigger than him.

    “Facing a seven-footer is never an issue for me, never been a problem,” Sundov told Spin.ph after the team’s practice on Thursday.

    He added, “It's guarding the smaller guys that I sometimes have a difficult time with.”

    While aware that Mbenga is an NBA veteran like him but who has two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers under his belt, the 7-foot-2 Croatian said he can readily match up with his Barako Bull counterpart.

    “Just because there's a seven-footer, I'll just take shots (from the outside),” said Sundov. “We'll see, but I know I can do both (shoot inside and outside).”

    The native of Split, Croatia has been more of a perimeter player for Rain or Shine for much of the eliminations, averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds.

    But Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said Sundov has already fully adjusted to the PBA brand of play, and is now playing more inside while managing to extend the range on his jumpers.

    Sundov has averaged two three-point shots made in the Elasto Painters’ last four games, but had four triples in Rain or Shine's 116-85 blowout of Talk 'N Text more than a week ago.

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    While Sundov has completely settled down, the same can’t be said of Mbenga, who has yet to reach game shape as indicated in his league debut on Sunday against Petron.

    Mbenga scored only 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Energy Cola’s 77-88 loss to Petron.

    Barako Bull consultant Rajko Toroman said he has been monitoring Mbenga's progress since the Energy Cola are in a must-win situation in their last two games in a bid for the last berth in the quarterfinals berth.

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    “Facing a seven-footer is never an issue for me, never been a problem. It's guarding the smaller guys that I sometimes have a difficult time with," says Rain or Shine import Bruno Sundov ahead of his showdown with fellow NBA veteran DJ Mbenga o
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