AN impressive mix of imports comprise the 2014 Governors Cup batch of reinforcements which the fans can watch starting in the third week of the month.
Barangay Ginebra's Zaccheus Mason and San Miguel Beer's Reggie Williams arrived on Sunday morning on the same PR 103 flight from Los Angeles to bolster what, at least on paper, looked like one of the most impressive import batches in the pro league.
Mason was high on Ginebra's wish list from the time the team first scouted for an import while Williams was tapped as a last-minute replacement for Elijah Millsap, who led the Beermen to the finals of this same tournament last season.
Active consultant Todd Purves said the decision to go for Williams was "management's decision."
Mason is a fresh graduate of Chattoonga University while Williams is a six-year NBA veteran having played for the Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats and the Oklahoma City Thunder as a back-up wingman.
Sources from both teams bared that management of San Miguel Corporation decided to fly in both players at the same time so they can start practice immediately.
The Meralco Bolts already have an import in Terrence Williams, who was picked 11th overall by the New Jersey Nets in 2009 NBA draft and is touted as an exciting player. He won the slam dunk contest of the 2005 Kentucky Derby Basketball Classic.
Surprise Commissioner’s Cup semifinalists Air 21 Express will be banking on Allen Durham, a former teammate of recent reinforcement Wesley Witherspoon in France.
Air21 governor Lito Alvarez bared that Durham impressed with the Nantes team in France and received more positive scouting reports than Witherspoon, who led the Express to within a win of a first-ever finals appearance in the Commissioner's Cup.
“Mas magaling pa daw 'yan kay Witherspoon sa France, iyan ang mas go-to guy nila,” said the amiable team official of the import who is due to arrive in the country next week.
Like Williams, Alaska's Bill Walker and Talk 'N Text's Othyus Jeffers are legitimate NBA veterans while Barako Bull's Eric Wise is the son of former PBA import Francois Wise.
The GlobalPort Batang Pier, meanwhile, have tapped former Air21 import Leroy Hickerson. Other balik imports in the fold are Marqus Blakely of San Mig and Arizona Reid of Rain or Shine.
Here's the complete list of imports:
1. Alaska Aces – Bill Walker (already in the country)
2. Air21 Express – Allen Durham (arriving next week)
3. Barako Bull Energy – Eric Wise (already in the country)
4. Brgy Ginebra Kings – Zaccheus Mason (arrived on Sunday)
5. GlobalPort Batang Pier – Leroy Hickerson (already in the country)
6. Meralco Bolts – Terrence Williams (already in the country)
7. Rain or Shine Elastopainters – Arizona Reid (already in country)
8. San Mig Coffee Mixers – Marqus Blakely (already in the country)
9. San Miguel Beermen – Reggie Williams (arrived on Sunday)
10. Talk n’ Text Tropang Texters – Othyus Jeffers (already in the country)