IMPORT Herbert Hill gets one final chance to save his job at Ginebra when the Kings battle Globalport Batang Pier in Friday’s main game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Hill struggled in his debut match with the Kings, a 70-74 loss to Air21 Express, scoring 17 points and going a dismal 7-of-24 from the field as he got outplayed by Michael Dunigan.
His poor showing had management making immediate arrangements for possible replacements, initially eyeing former Los Angeles Laker big man DJ Mbenga and later on, one-time Detroit Piston Vernon Macklin.
But until someone comes over, Hill will continue to play for the Kings beginning with their 7:30 p.m. encounter with the Batang Pier and Justin Williams.
“Si Herbert Hill pa rin ang import,” Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua told Spin.ph after the team's practice on Thursday. “Pero again both locals and our import kailangang mag-tulungan.
“Siyempre pag di ko ginamit si Hill, liliit naman kami. Kasi isa na nga kami sa pinakamalit (na team), eh lalo pa kaming liliit pag di namin siya (Hill) gagamitin.”
But Hill and the undersized Ginebra frontcourt face a serious challenge in the paint against Globalport owing to the presence of Williams and Japeth Aguilar.
The 6-foot-9 high-leaping Williams has been a defensive ace in his first two games - averaging 21 rebounds, 15 points and three block shots.
The 6-foot-9 Aguilar, on the other hand, is submitting averages of 19.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks-- all career-highs for the former Talk 'N Text slotman who was supposed to land at Ginebra in a multi-team trade last month until San Miguel pulled the plug on the deals.
Likewise, LA Tenorio will have his hands full taking on athletic Globalport point guard Sol Mercado.
The 6-foot-1 Mercado, acquired in a pre-conference multi-team trade, is averaging double-double numbers of 18 points and 13.5 assists.
“Sobrang match-up yun against Sol,” Tenorio acknowledged. “Pero again, ang depensa di lang naman one-on-one kundi team defense kami. Kailangan lang naming maghanda talaga.”