RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao was surprised to see new import Jordan Tolbert exceed the height limit for imports in this PBA Governors’ Cup despite having him measured twice before his official measurement ahead of his supposed debut.
Guiao on Jordan Tolbert going over height limit
Coming from Taiwan where he last played for the Taichung Suns under former E-Painters coach Chris Gavina, Tolbert had himself digitally measured, standing up, in a hospital in Taipei and also after his first practice with RoS, lying down.
“One reason we gambled on him was we asked somebody to measure him in Taiwan,” Guiao said of Greg Smith II’s supposed replacement. “Nagpunta siya sa ospital. Ang standard dun nakatayo. Hindi naman namin pwede sabihing ‘pahigain niyo.’ Pumasa siya dun, we took the risk.”
On both occasions, Tolbert made the 6-foot-6 limit.
But the PBA, which makes imports lie down when having them measured, found the American forward stood at 6’6” 1/8, slightly over the max height allowed.
“I was really confident that he could play,” Guiao said.
“Pero mukhang inikliin nila yung pang-measure nila kanina sa PBA eh,” he added in jest. “Kaya sumobra ng dalawang guhit. Yung dalawang guhit, ga-buhok lang yun eh. Anyway, ganun talaga.”
That left the E-Painters without an import for the second time this conference on Wednesday when they gave Phoenix a threat before surrendering a 114-106 decision.
“Playing without an import is really a problematic situation,” Guiao said. “We tried our best to bring in an import for this game even if it’s really a close try in terms of the schedule, kahit naka-isang practice lang siya sana. But it didn’t work out. Medyo malas sa import ngayon conference na ‘to.”
“We’re not giving up. As long as there’s a small chance, we’ll keeping fighting,” the multi-titled mentor was quick to add.
The E-Painters’ next game, however, is already on Saturday against NorthPort.
“I don’t know if we can bring anybody by Saturday, including all the documentation and certification, the permits,” Guiao admitted. “We will prepare to play without an import on Saturday, but at the same time, we will try to bring somebody in.”