SHANE Edwards will briefly hold the fort for Barangay Ginebra with resident import Justin Brownlee not available in the early part of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Brownlee is still currently playing for Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League, where the Philippine side is in strong contention for the championship with a 13-6 record for third place and the elimination phase of the regional league now on its homestretch.
The ABL won’t finish the 2017-18 season until May, overlapping the PBA’s mid-season conference, which kicks off on April 21.
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone confirmed the plan to bring in Edwards temporarily in favor of Brownlee, who steered the Kings to back-to-back championships in the last two editions of the Governors Cup.
“Yes, that’s correct,” was Cone’s curt reply.
Edwards is no stranger to the PBA.
He saw action for the Alaska Aces during the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup to take over the place of former Best Import Rob Dozier as the latter was then recovering from a plantar faciistis injury.
Edwards, who played briefly for the Cleveland Cavaliers four years ago, played nine games for the Aces and averaged 22.11 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He towed Alaska to a 6-4 (win-loss) record, before Dozier took over and led the team to a runner-up finish behind Rain or Shine in what turned out to the franchise’s last stint in the finals.
The 30-year-old Los Angeles, California native is now with the CLS Indonesia also in the ABL, although the team has been already out of playoffs contention with a 5-14 record.
Ironically, Edwards played against Brownlee Wednesday night in an 84-67 loss by CLS to Alab Pilipinas at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, GlobalPort is also banking on a returnee import in Malcolm White.
The former Louisiana State University stalwart played for the Batang Pier in the same conference last season and averaged 21.8 points and 14.8 rebounds in five games as a replacement for Sean Williams.
His stint with the team also didn’t last long as Justin Harper later arrived to take the place of White.
Over at KIA, import CJ Aiken officially made the height requirement for the conference after he was measured at 6-foot-9 at the PBA office on Wednesday.
Height limit for imports are pegged at 6-foot-10.