GINEBRA team governor Robert Non said import Josh Powell wanted to be eligible for a pension from the NBA, the reason he bid the team goodbye in favor of a chance to join the Houston Rockets' roster.
Breaking the news that Powell was cutting short his tour of duty with Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, Non said Powell told the team that he was desperate to crack the Rockets' roster because he wanted to chalk up another NBA season under his belt.
The six-year NBA veteran, according to Non, told the team that a stint with the Rockets will count for one season under the US league's rules - enough to qualify him for a pension.
“May dahilan naman siya (Powell) eh. Sabi niya, pag na-sign up pala siya, considered na one year siyang naglaro (sa NBA), and he will be entitled to an (NBA) pension already,” explained Non.
“Eh wala naman daw siyang kapera-pera, wala na kaming magagawa dun, so hanap na lang kami ng iba.”
With the two-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers out, Ginebra is now in a race against time to bring in a new import to salvage its campaign in the midseason conference.
The top Ginebra official said they are training their sight on either Andre Emmett, who once played for the Memphis Grizzlies, or Charles Thomas, a former standout of Arkansas.
Non said the team is leaning toward signing Emmett, listed at 6-5, so he could play for the Gin Kings all the way in the season-ending Governors Cup. The third conference allows each team to tap a reinforcement no taller than 6-5.
Ginebra, now in eighth spot at 3-5, will play Rain or Shine (3-4) on Sunday in a game that will determine its plyoff seeding.
“Kung ako, I’ll go for the small guy (Emmett) para pag nakita ko, diretso na, kasi it’s either you end up No. 5 or 6 if we win, or no. 7 or 8 kapag natalo ka (against Rain or Shine) so ang hirap nun. Ang kalaban mo either Talk ‘N Text or San Miguel Beer,” said Non.
“Ang bigat nun. Eh at least makikita namin itong Emmett."
“Si Thomas puwede siyang dumating ng Tuesday since sa Lebanon lang naman yata manggagaling, mga eight hours lang na flight, para maayos namin ang papeles,” explained Non.
“Pero kung si Emmett, kailangan confirmed ngayon so he can fly tomorrow and arrive either Tuesday or early Wednesday morning para lakarin ang papeles,” he added.
Emmett played a total of 14 games in the NBA, with the Grizzlies in the 2004-05 season and the New Jersey Nets in the 2011-12 season, averaging 1.4 points on 5.2 minutes.