PBA Commissioner’s Cup opens today-A A +A
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
LAST year’s top import Rob Dozier is still a force to reckon with when Alaska starts defense of the crown against Talk ‘N Text. Globalport new head coach Pido Jarencio debuts against Air 21 Express today in the opening of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Alaska, which swept Ginebra in the best-of-five finals series last year, will play the Tropang Texters at 8 p.m following Batang Pier and the Express’s encounter at 5:45 p.m.
The 6’9” Dozier, the reigning best import awardee, will be going up againstformer New Carolina State University 6’8” forward Richard Howell, who was signed by the Portland Trail Blazers last year. The 22-year-old Howell averaged 12.7 points on 51.8 percent field goal shooting, 10.9 rebounds and 31.6 minutes in his senior year with North Carolina. Coach Luigi Trillo sees a tough campaign for the Aces despite having back Dozier, who helped the Aces capture their first title after the departure of coach Tim Cone. He pointed San Miguel Beer, Ginebra, SanMig Coffee, Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text as the favorites in the import-laden conference, which allows 6’11” imports for the two bottomteams and 6’9” for the rest.
“It’s already different today in this conference. There are lots of big men already.
Each team found ways to get stronger and better through the draft and player movements,” said Trillo referring to Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, Raymund Almazan and Ian Sangalang.
In their quest to retain the crown, Trillo will still bank on reliables Sonny Thoss, Cyrus Baguio, Jayvee Casio, Calvin Abueva, Gabby Espinas, Dondon Hontiveros, RJ Jazul, Tony dela Cruz, Aldrich Ramos, Nic Belasco, Ryan Buenafe and Sam Eman. FCC
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 05, 2014.