FORMER PBA Best Import Denzel Bowles’ possible third tour of duty has been shelved as Purefoods Star had a change of heart, deciding to bring in ex-Alaska reinforcement Diamon Simpson instead for the Commissioner’s Cup.
Purefoods Star board of governor Rene Pardo broke the news to Spin.ph on Christmas Day, saying the Hotshots were apprehensive about bringing back Bowles, who might not be able to fit the 6-foot-9 height limit.
Under the format of Commissioner’s Cup, the top 8 performing teams during the Philippine Cup are allowed to field an import not exceeding 6 feet 9. The bottom four teams have no height restrictions.
“Medyo apprehensive kasi kami sa height ni Denzel kaya nagne-negotiate na kami for Diamon, mga 90 percent na yun,” Pardo said.
“Listed si Diamon na 6-7 pero sabi nga, he has the wingspan of a seven-footer at mabilis siya,” added the Purefoods executive.
Simpson is no stranger to the PBA, having led the Alaska Aces to the 2009-10 Fiesta Conference championship via their 4-2 Finals series victory over San Miguel Beer.
That championship was also Tim Cone’s last with the Uytengsu franchise, before eventually joining the Purefoods franchise before the start of the 2012 PBA season.
Cone won his first 13 PBA titles with Alaska.
Simpson’s familiarity with Cone’s triangle offense has been factored in as the Hotshots are raring to come out strong in the mid-season conference to defend their title after taking an early playoff exit in the Philippine Cup.
The former Saint Mary’s standout averaged all-around numbers of 25.0 points, 16.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.3 steals in 36 games during his stint in 2010 with the Aces.