PETRON team consultant Todd Purves wore two hats while watching Thursday night’s exciting battle between South Korea and defending Fiba-Asia basketball champion China at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 41-year-old American coach said he came early to check if there are any bright NBA prospects from either China or South Korea in his role as the Memphis Grizzlies' scout in Asia, a position he has held form more than a year now.
“We all know Yi (Jianlian) and some of the talents of China’s big men, but I’m also interested to see South Korea’s guards,” the new Petron coaching consultant told Spin.ph, referring to Yang Dong Geun and Kim Sun Hyung.
At the same time, Purves said he also came in to watch and cheer for Gilas Pilipinas as well as greet June Mar Fajardo, Petron’s top rookie big man, who will serve s naturalized center Marcus Douthit’s chief backup at the slot.
Fajardo played for San Miguel Beer in the ABL last season, when Purves led the Indonesia Warriors to the title.
Purves said he’s coming into the Petron camp more as a learner as he tries to gather additional resources for a team that has been underachieving for the past two seasons despite a solid local roster.
“I’ve been giving a little bit of input (to Petron rookie coach Gee Abanilla), but I’m also gathering resources on the team,” said Purves.
“We have some different and skilled players. We just need to come together, mesh them together and find the right chemistry,” added the soft-spoken consultant.
Purves won an ABL crown with the Warriors in the 2012 season before Indonesia bowed to the Beermen in the Finals this season, 3-0.