CHICAGO -- With a dismal 4-5 record, the only thing constant for the underwhelming San Miguel Beermen this conference is how they've constantly changed imports.
The count so far stands at three.
Thomas Robinson, the 5th overall pick in the 2012 draft, arrived first alongside a luggage full of hype. He supposedly got injured - wink, wink - and was replaced before even playing a single game.
Then came Diamond Stone. Despite a decent showing in three games (24.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per) San Miguel didn't view him as much of a gem after a 1-2 start and pulled another switch.
Enter Devon Scott, who is balling his butt off with averages of 21.6 points, 15.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per in six games. During that span, the Beermen are a mere 3-3.
For now, thank goodness, San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla isn't working the phone lines like a busy ant.
Constant manpower change often brings uncertainty while distorting team chemistry. San Miguel's record in the ongoing Commissioner's Cup reflects that.
But don't expect the issues dogging the Beermen now to carry over in the upcoming Governors' Cup.
Laurian Watkins, the father of La Salle Green Archers star Schonny Winston, shared San Miguel's import for the Govs' Cup - Marcus Weathers - is already in the Philippines.
Pumped and ready to go.
Watkins knows because Weathers trained under him at the Pro Skills Sports Academy in California, a joint Watkins owns.
"I'm super excited. This is a blessing," Weathers told me over the phone after watching the UAAP Season 85 thriller between LaSalle and UP last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 25-year old Weathers revealed that the Beermen first made contact with his agent last September and that he is glad that both sides had come to terms. He is set to meet his teammates today.
Prior to his arrival the other day, Weathers had never been to the Philippines. But he is a keeper.
A STAR AT SMU
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound forward split college duties at Miami of Ohio, Duquesne, and the Southern Methodist University Mustangs where his star shined the brightest.
He played a total of 144 NCAA games and averaged 12.1 points, 7 rebounds and 1.3 assists an outing. As a senior, he shot 50.7 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3.
Although he went undrafted in the NBA last June, Weathers was good enough to receive invites to a workout with the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Per multiple scouting reports, Weathers, whose twin brother Michael played with him at SMU, has a 37-inch vertical and 7-foot wingspan.
"He plays with no fear. Got a chip on his shoulder. Tough, tough kid," University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson told The Arizona Republic last June.
Toughness is exactly what the Beermen need.
Through nine games in this rough and tumble campaign that saw June Mar Fajardo take time off for a throat injury that required surgery, San Miguel has surrendered 921 points.
Giving up an average of 102.3 points per 48 minutes isn't exactly what you might call an elite defense.
Change is in the beer giant's horizon.
Put a healthy Fajardo alongside Weathers and imagine the possibilities.
But the biggest promise Weathers brings to the beleaguered SMC franchise is his dependability and lasting power.
Continuity with one dominant import often breeds success.
Of all teams, San Miguel should know this because they've seen up close how much magic and championships the Ginebra-Justin Brownlee union has produced.