THERE’S an old saying that goes, “One is enough, two is too much, and three is dangerous.”
So what makes four?
That question should be running in the minds of most Magnolia fans after the Hotshots brought in a fourth import in this PBA Commissioner's Cup alone in a desperate bid to revive its flatlining playoff bid.
Wayne Chism has been handed the responsibility to finish what Vernon Macklin, Curtis Kelly, and Justin Jackson started. In the process, Magnolia became just the eighth team over the past decade to bring in four imports or more for a single conference.
So what happened to the previous seven teams that did it? Allow us to answer your questions.
* Coca Cola brought in five reinforcements in the 2008 Fiesta Conference after first-option Calvin Cage got injured in the Tigers’ first game. They flew in Jason Dixon, George Gervin Jr., and Donald Copeland, before settling with Brandon Dean for the playoffs. Though Coca Cola finished fourth in the eliminations with a 10-8 record, it fell to the lower-seeded Magnolia Beverage Masters, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.
* Barako Bull brought in four imports for the 2009 Fiesta Conference, but didn’t get much success with Scooter McFadgon, Jeff Varem, Daryan Selvy, and Jamaal Williams and finished the preliminaries at 10th place with their 2-12 record.
* It was the same case for Air21 in the Fiesta Conference the season after, as the Express finished ninth with their 4-14 card despite parading imports Keena Young, Jason Forte, Reggie Larry, and Leroy Hickerson. They would go on and bow out of the knockout stage at the hands of Rain or Shine.
* In the same conference, Ginebra also brought in four reinforcements and finished fifth with its 9-9 record before losing to Alaska in the quarterfinals in five games. Awvee Story, Mildon Ambres, Denham Brown, and Chris Daniels wore the Gin King threads in that import-laden conference in 2010.
* Two years later, Barako Bull flew in four imports anew for the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup, with DerMarr Johnson, Rodney White, Reggie Okosa, and Gabe Freeman helping the team finish with a 4-5 card for fifth place in the eliminations. It dispatched Alaska in three games in the quarterfinals, but lost to top seed Talk ’N Text in the semifinals in five tough games.
* TNT also had the same stroke of luck in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup despite shuffling reinforcements in Keith Benson, Donnell Harvey, Jerome Jordan, and Tony Mitchell. The Texters wound up sixth in the eliminations with an even 7-7 card, swept Petron in two games in the quarterfinals, before falling to Ginebra in a semifinal series that went the full five games.
* But if there’s one import turnstile the Hotshots could draw inspiration from, it should be Rain or Shine’s run in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup. Chism injured his hamstring after just two games, forcing the Elasto Painters to bring in replacements Antoine Wright and Mo Charlo before eventually settling for burly big man Pierre Henderson-Niles, who came in the final game of the eliminations. Rain or Shine finished with a 7-4 card, good for fifth place and went on to dispatch Ginebra in two games in the quarterfinals. The Elasto Painters then bullied San Miguel in four games in the semifinals, before trouncing Alaska in six to win the championship.
Chism, a longtime resident import of Rain or Shine, wants to replicate that success in this fifth tour of duty, this time in Magnolia.
Can he do it?