IT appears the feeling is mutual for former Los Angeles Lakers center DJ Mbenga and Barangay Ginebra.
“Ginebra seems interesting,” Mbenga was quoted as saying by import agent Sheryl Reyes, who chatted with the former two-time NBA champion as negotiations for his possible signing of the Kings appear to be progressing positively at this point.
“He really sounded positive.”
The lady agent said Mbenga - eyed as a replacement for Herbert Hill - is now carefully doing his homework trying to learn more about the Ginebra franchise and its current players.
The 7-foot Congolese-Belgian in particular wants to see videotapes of some of the team’s games and those of players Mark Caguioa, LA Tenorio, Rudy Hatfield, and Chris Ellis.
“Coach Alfrancis (Chua) will be sending me the highlights of their game, which I will send din later (to Mbenga),” said Reyes, rating the chances of convincing the seven-year NBA to try out the local league at "85 percent."
“Gusto niya kasing makita if there’s a big possibility he can win a championship with the team (Ginebra),” added Reyes. “Medyo concerned kasi siya sa role niya na maging go-to-guy.”
That Mbenga is very particular with the Kings' title chances is understandable.
According to Reyes, Mbenga was a little bit disappointed with his recent stint in the Chinese Basketball Association, where he and former NBA star Tracy McGrady suited up for a lottery-bound team (Qingdao DoubleStar).
“Mahina `yung locals nila, tapos sa kanila iniaasa,” said Reyes of Mbenga’s China stop.
But the situation will definitely be a lot different with Ginebra.
“I think with the way he’s looking at the welcome of the fans, and the hype Philippine media is giving him, I am hoping he will have yes for an answer,” Reyes said.
At the latest, the lady agent expects to have a reply from the 32-year-old Mbenga by late Wednesday night or by Thursday.