DUBAI – Former Meralco and Petron Blaze import Jarrid Famous makes his debut with Globalport on Thursday when it takes on Rain or Shine in the first of two official PBA Governors’ Cup games at the 4,000-sitting capacity Al Shabab Al Arabi Club.
The Batang Pier meet the Elasto Painters at 7:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. Manila time) before Paul Lee and Co. return Friday to take on Barangay Ginebra in their Dubai rematch after the Kings edged ROS, 89-88, three years ago.
Famous, a 6-foot-11 center who went undrafted in the NBA after playing for Westchester and South Florida, arrived late Tuesday ahead of Globalport coach Pido Jarencio, who has recovered from a severe case of diarrhea which kept him from joining the team's flight last Monday.
“Okey na si coach Pido; dating siya bukas,” said Globalport alternate governor Erick Arejola.
Famous replaces standby import Steve Thomas, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds when the Batang Pier suffered their first loss after a 3-0 start, falling to San Miguel Beer and Arizona Reid, 124-102, last May 17.
With Famous towering over ROS import Wendell McKines, the highlight of the game will be the matchup between star Elasto Painters point guard Paul Lee and Globalport one-on-one sensation Terrence Romeo, two ace playmakers reportedly being eyed by Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin for inclusion to the national team.
While acknowledging the need for a healthy roster, with Jeff Chan and Chris Tiu on the injury list and skipping the trip, Guiao dismissed suggestions to replace their import or trade for bigger players.
"We're a very patient team," he said. "We don't really look at trades. When we encounter difficulty, we try to fix the problem from within. We're not known for changing our lineup."
Guiao acknowledges the urgency of their situation, however.
“Without sounding too ambitious, we need these two games to get back in contention,” he said. “We can start thinking about contending again if we win. It not, then it’ll be very difficult for us.”
Globalport, Guiao believes, presents two major challenges for the E-Painters.
“They are playing very well and they have a new import coming in,” he said.
ROS was left scrambling on Tuesday afternoon after they lost more than 30 minutes of valuable practice time when their bus got stalled in traffic after their Pakistani driver made a wrong turn from the hotel.
“Sinabi na namin na kumanan pero dumeretso pa rin kasunod ng GlobalPort,” said E-Painters assistant coach Caloy Garcia.
"Baka kakampi ng Globalport," said Guiao upon overhearing the remark.