BLACKWATER’S search for an Asian import hit a snag after Taiwanese prospect Liu Cheng was not granted his release by his mother team Taiwan Beer in the Super Basketball League (SBL) in Chinese Taipei.
Liu, one of Chinese Taipei’s sharpshooters who played in last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, averaged 14.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 44 games for Taiwan Beer this season.
“Ayaw siya (Liu) payagan ng mother team niya, 'yung Taiwan Beer, kaya maghahanap uli kami,” Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy told Spin.ph on Friday.
Originally, the Elite were set to bring in Jordanian back-up guard Imad Qahwash but it turned out the 6-foot-2 guard had some citizenship issues, prompting Sy to train his sight on Liu.
Even with no Asian import signed, the Elite continue to prepare for the Governors Cup with Gilas Pilipinas naturalized big man Marcus Douthit returning for another tour of duty.
The 6-foot-11 Douthit averaged 22.0 points, 14.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks to lead the Elite to a 3-8 win-loss record in the Commissioner’s Cup.
By finishing at the bottom four in the first two conferences this season, Blackwater is allowed to tap an import with no height restrictions for the Governors Cup.
The three other teams which finished in the bottom four are Barako Bull, GlobalPort and KIA.