AN import capable of playing all five positions, someone in the mold of a Gabe Norwood, is what Petron coach Olsen Racela has in mind for the coming PBA Governors’ cup.
“Oo, 'yung parang ganun, kasi kumpleto na kami sa lahat ng spot eh," the Petron coach told Spin.ph. "So kailangan lang talaga namin 'yung import na pwedeng maglaro ng iba’t ibang positions."
Racela, however, said the team is not in a hurry to sign an import as it is giving itself until a month before the season-ending tournament kicks off on August 14 to find the most suitable reinforcement.
The former PBA star-turned-coach said he and his staff are now carefully evaluating a short list of prospects that includes DJ Kennedy, Bobby Jones, John Millsap and Jimmy Baxter.
“Kakabalik ko lang din kasi galing sa US. Pero may mga sinisilip na kami nila (SMC basketball operations head) Boss Robert (Non),” said Racela. “Hindi naman kami nagmamadali. Mas gusto kasi naming sigurado yung makukuhang import, somebody who will be very versatile.”
The only one scratched from Racela's list is Arizona Reid, who has opted to rejoin Rain or Shine.
Racela said Petron is torn between signing an import now and giving him plenty of time to work out with the team or waiting until the end of the US summer camps which most top import prospects attend.
"Ongoing kasi ang NBA summer camp. Like DJ Kennedy, andun siya,” said Racela. “Iniisip namin ngayon kung magpaparating na kami agad o hintayin namin na matapos 'yung summer camp, kaso opening ng Governors’ Cup August 14 eh.
“Two weeks na delay ng ensayo. Yun ang pinag-iisipan namin ngayon kung enough (preparations) na 'yon.”
Pressed to comment on trade possibilities now that big man Jay Washington and scoring guard Alex Cabaganot are being mentioned in new round of talks, Racela said making a deal is not the team's priority right now.
“Palagi naman andyan sa trade talks si Jaywash (Washington), pero wala kaming napapag-usapan. Basta ang concentration namin ngayon is to look for an import,” Racela said.
Petron’s return to practice on June 17.