JOSH Dollard makes his PBA comeback with Rain or Shine in an all-important Governor Cup showdown against San Miguel on Saturday.
Dollard will be the franchise’s fourth import in the season-ending conference - and hopefully the one to provide spark in the Elasto Painters’ playoff bid.
The former Barako Bull import took over the place of Jason Forte, who had a rather disappointing stint despite going 1-1 in the two games he played for the team.
The Elasto Painters made the decision to let go of Forte on Friday after he twice attended the team practice together with Dollard.
The comebacking import was measured at 6-foot-4 and 1/4.
“Sana nga last na ito, and like Henderson-Niles, sana maging successful,” said coach Yeng Guiao, obviously referring to the team’s experience in the last Commissioner’s Cup, when it also changed import thrice before finally settling with Niles, who later helped them win the mid-season championship.
Before Forte, Rain or Shine had Dior Lowhorn and Greg Smith for imports although Smith didn’t get to play a single game as he exceeded the conference height limit of 6-foot-5.
Familiarity with the league’s brand of play made Guiao decide to get Dollard’s services even with the elimination round now entering its final stretch.
“The good thing about Josh Dollard, like Jason Forte and Dior Lowhorn, he’s also familiar with the PBA style of play,” said Guiao. "With two practices, he’s showing chemistry with the locals.”
“That’s what we’re looking at an import, that chemistry playing with our local players. We don’t have a problem with the locals – we’re playing well actually with an all-Filipino roster. But in an import-laced conference, we can’t compete if it's only the locals who play well.”
Dollard averaged 32.56 points and 15.22 rebounds during his stint with Barako Bull in the 2014 Commissioner’s Cup, numbers which Guiao hopes would translate into wins for the Elasto Painters, who are struggling with a 4-5 (win-loss) slate and still in danger of missing the playoffs.
“We also need the help of our import, and I think we found that in Dollard. He can run with the team, he can create, he can take over. This game against San Miguel (6-3) will be a big test."