AFTER weeks of shopping for an import, Meralco has finally decided to tap former NBA Developmental League Impact Player of the Year Brian Butch as the Bolts seek redemption in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup set to kick off on March 5.
Listed at 6-foot-11, the 29-year-old Butch is arriving this week to join the Bolts, who are coming off a woeful ninth place finish in the Philippine Cup.
Undrafted in the NBA in 2008, Butch averaged 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Bakersfield Jam en route to being named the NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year in the 2009-10 season.
His stellar play earned him a slot in the NBA D-League All Stars where he won MVP honors after tallying 18 points and 13 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Butch, from Appleton, Wisconsin, played four seasons in the NBA D-League, with career averages of 14.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 137 games played.
He suited up for the Jam for three seasons and played briefly for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio declined to comment on Butch as of the moment, though he is hopeful that the former Wisconsin big man could help the team’s campaign in the import-laced conference.
The Bolts played a tuneup game Tuesday morning, prevailing against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 106-93, with Gary David scoring 22 points and big man Rabeh Al-Hussaini adding 12.