WITH one week of practice under his belt, Barangay Ginebra’s new import Josh Powell expects to play better when the Gin Kings play defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup champion Alaska on Sunday.
That doesn't necessarily mean scoring a ton of points.
Powell, who earned his spot in two NBA champion teams of the Los Angeles Lakers as a role player, said he's not about to transform into a high-scorer as he tries to lead Ginebra to the playoffs in the midseason conference.
“I just try to do what I know I can do, try to control the things I can control defensively,” Powell said at the end of Ginebra's practice. “That’s something I grew up playing. I’m not a selfish guy.”
The 6-9 Powell scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in his debut in an 88-78 win over Meralco last April 2, barely 24 hours after planing in to replace the misfiring Leon Rodgers.
The six-year NBA veteran said he doesn't expect to score a lot more points in his succeeding games, saying his priority is to fit into Ginebra's scheme of things and play defense.
A journeyman who has spent a lot of time playing overseas, Powell explained that he has been with teams where he found the need to pick up his offense because of the limited scoring options.
Ginebra is not one of those teams, he added.
“I’ve been to places where I need to score more and I’ve been to places where I just got to fit in and find a role,” explained the 31-year-old Powell.
“These guys here (Gin Kings), there are a lot of veterans. They know what they are doing so I’m just trying to fit in and see how I can be effective,” he added.
Powell is also expected to be a major asset defensively against Alaska and former Best Import awardee Rob Dozier, having become familiar with Luigi Trillo's triangle offense in his years with the Lakers under Phil Jackson.
“A lot of times (against Meralco), I had good shots. But if somebody is wide open, I think that’s a better shot. I give up a good shot for a better shot,” said the former North Carolina State big man.