Six imports, or half of the field, are ‘returning’ reinforcements, including three former Best Import winners for the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup that starts on February 10.
Star has tabbed anew the services of Denzel Bowles, who will suit up for the Hotshots for the fourth time. The 6-9 Bowles is fresh from his stint with Marinos de Anzoategui, a pro team in Venezuela where he averaged 12.8 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Bowles first played for Star in 2012 – the season he captured the Best Import trophy, and then helped the team win the same conference title when they downed Talk ’N Text in a classic Game 7.
The former James Madison University stalwart has PBA career averages of 26.26 points, 13.37 rebounds and 2.11 shot blocks.
Bowles is expected to arrive from the US early next week.
Alaska is also bringing back Rob Dozier, who likewise helped the team win the championship in 2013 – against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – after winning the Best Import plum.
The former Memphis teammate of NBA superstar Derrick Rose played anew for Alaska in 2014. Dozier averaged 20.24 points, 16.35 rebounds and 2.74 shot blocks in Asia’s first pro league.
The third former Best Import winner that will play anew in the PBA is Rain o Shine’s Wayne Chism.
The 6-9 sweet-shooting forward will join the Elasto Painters for the third straight time. He won the Best Import award last season, but fell short on helping the team win the title after they lost to the Ivan Johnson-led Tropang Texters in a painful Game 7 defeat.
Johnson will likewise suite up for TNT as the highly physical and emotional reinforcement recently arrived and has joined the team’s practice session.
Other returning reinforcement are former NBA players Al Thorton for NLEX and Ginebra’s Othyus Jeffers, who played one game for TNT two seasons ago but had to leave due to contract dispute with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Parading new imports next conference are Mahindra with Augustus Gilchrist, Blackwater with MJ Rhett and San Miguel Beer with Tyler Wilkerson, who had problem with his luggage he only retrieved last Monday after missing it for three days.