MERALCO becomes the second team to change import in the PBA Governors Cup after bringing back old hand Mario West in time for the Bolts game on Tuesday against San Mig Coffee.
West, a former Georgia Tech standout, quietly slipped into the country Monday morning from Atlanta and immediately proceeded to the PBA office for re-measurement, where he was measured at 6-3 ¾.
Meralco team manager Butch Antonio confirmed to Spin.ph the arrival of West who is expected to suit up for the team against the Mixers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
West replaced former NBA veteran Terrence Williams, who failed to give the team a win in three games.
The Bolts are the second team to chance import after GlobalPort, which already gave Leroy Hickerson the pink slip to pave the way for the return of former Ginebra import Dior Lowhorn.
“Eto nga ginawa na namin lahat ng papeles na kailangan from permits to measurement,” said Antonio of West, who already joined the team’s afternoon practice on Monday.
Antonio said familiarity is an advantage for West as the high-scoring wingman is now in his third tour of duty with the franchise.
“Kaunti lang naman mga nabago sa lineup namin. So hindi na siguro ganun kalaki ang period of adjustment for him,” he added.
Unlike before, the pressure is definitely on West this time as he will be suiting up for a Bolts team that is currently in the cellar with a 0-3 (win-loss) record.
“It is not yet about pressing the panic button, the import change was decided upon last Saturday night after our third loss,” Antonio admitted. “It’s just making the necessary adjustments.”
Antonio also assured West is fit and is in fine condition considering the energetic import is coming off a stint in France, where he led the Bologne team to the championship of the division two league.
In his two previous stints with the Bolts, West averaged 26.88 points, 8.40 rebounds, 2.76 assists, and 1.88 steals per game.