Rain or Shine has signed former Syracuse star Richard Jackson as the team’s reinforcement for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup that starts Jan. 27 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
Former league chairman and ROS official Mamerto Mondragon made the confirmation yesterday after the Elasto Painters and the 25-year-old Jackson’s US representatives agreed to terms. Listed at 6-foot-9, 240-lbs, Jackson recently played for the Krasny Oktyabr, a pro league in Israel. He played four seasons with Syracuse from 2007 to 2011, averaging nearly 11 points and nine rebounds with the Orangemen.
Rain or Shine is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing semifinal defeat to Alaska in the Philippine Cup. For finishing first to eighth after the elimination round, ROS is allowed to have import not taller than 6-foot-9.
Teams between ninth to 12th have unlimited imports, with expansion teams Blackwater and Kia parading the two talent reinforcements, as the Sorento will have 7-foot-4 Peter John Ramos while the Elite will have 7-foot-3 Chris Charles.
Jackson showed up during yesterday’s practice session of Rain or Shine at the Northeast Greenhills gym San Juan, but did little as he just arrived from the US early Tuesday morning.
“Hindi pa naman sya nag-go hard sa ensayo, kaya mahirap din i-assess kung ano pwede nya mabigay sa team. Although from what we know, he is a good rebounder and defender,” said ROS guard Jeff Chan.
“Yun naman ang kailangan namin sa team, madalas naman na sa rebounds kami natatalo e. But we’ll see, in the next couple of days makita namin yung totoong laro nya,” added Chan.
Fellow ROS guard Paul Lee, on the other hand, thinks that chemistry will not be an issue as players welcomed Jackson warmly when was introduced at practice as they prepare for the next conference.
“Mabait naman, nakikipagkwentuhan naman sa amin, nakikipag-biruan, Kaya sa tingin ko naman makaka-adjust sya sa kultura natin and sa sistema na din ni coach Yeng (Guiao),” said Lee.
Rain or Shine will open its Commissioner’s Cup campaign Jan. 28 against Talk ’N Text at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Jackson went undrafted during the 2011 NBA Rookie Draft, but has played in the NBA D-League for the Austin Toros, and also for the Chorale Roanne in France and Hapoel Gilboa Galil also in Israel.