PETRON Blaze consultant Todd Purves knows that with amount of talent the Boosters have this season, the team simply needs an import who can complement the locals and be the team's defensive anchor in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup two months from now.
Now in his second conference with the San Miguel franchise, Purves said the ideal import for the franchise in the mid-season conference is someone who resembles the play of Elijah Millsap, who helped the team to a runner-up finish in last year’s Governors Cup.
“We’re just looking for someone who can contribute, someone who plays like Elijah Millsap who was scoring and defending first, somebody who puts his teammates first,” Purves told Spin.ph.
The Commissioner’s Cup, tentatively set to start on March 7, allows the top eight finishers in the ongoing Philippine Cup to recruit imports with 6-foot-9 height, while teams that finished ninth and 10th are allowed to tap 6-foot-11 imports.
Petron is currently tied for second place with Rain or Shine and appeared poised for a semifinal stint the way the Boosters are currently playing.
But the team looked vulnerable late in the elimination round when vastly improved center June Mar Fajardo went down with a sprained MCL on his right knee.
The 41-year-old Purves said by tapping a defensive-minded import, the Boosters can have someone who could easily work side by side with the 6-foot-10 Fajardo, who has been an imposing defensive presence in just his second season in the pro league.
The American coach said history would bear him out about his choices for imports during his stint with the Indonesia Warriors, where he tapped players who aren’t necessarily scorers but definitely workhorses on the defensive end.
“I don’t want to name names but I’ve had two of the lowest scoring imports in the ABL (Asean Basketball League), but both are good defensive imports,” said the Petron consultant.
Purves paraded Steve Thomas (12.1 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks) and Chris Daniels (14.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks) in last season’s ABL that saw the Warriors go as far as the Finals before bowing to the San Miguel Beermen, 3-0.
During the 2012 season though, Purves steered the Warriors to the championship after beating the Beermen in the Finals, while being named as the ABL Coach of the Year.
So far, Purves said he already has a shortlist of imports to choose from which he’ll be discussing with Petron coach Gee Abanilla.