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Imports get a breather

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Bo to give Mighty locals extended time vs India.

NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan – Local players of Mighty Sports Apparels are likely to get quality minutes as coach Bo Perasol intends to give his imports a little break when the country’s representative to the 38th William Jones Cup battles also-ran India today at the Xinzhuang gym here.

“Hopefully I can give them (imports) the break because we also have to take into consideration their physical condition,” said Perasol after team’s 88-69 drubbing of Sacramento State University last Tuesday. “While they are good and talented players we need to balance their playing time to avoid getting injured since the tournament is a daily thing.”

Definitely, that’s music to the ears of the locals, led by Jeric Teng.

And besides India poses no danger to their title drive in the annual tournament that is fast shaping up to be another battle between the Philippines and Iran.

Backed by Scratch It and Symarom, Mighty Sports is tied for the lead with defending champion Iran at 3-0 while India is still winless in three games.

Hopefully, Teng, loaned by Rain or Shine bosses Raymund Yu and Terry Que to the team, will finally step up after failing to buy a single basket in games against Taiwan-A, South Korea and the Sacramento State Hornets.

“I’m confident he can deliver this time,” said team manager Jean Alabanza of the former University of Santo Tomas star. “PBA is a different arena so he’s still trying to get into the groove.”

Also likely to get extended minutes this time are retired PBA player TY Tang, Sunday Salvacion, Leo Avenido, and Larry Rodriguez.

Though he already quit playing in the PBA to manage a family business, Tang showed he still have enough competitive juice left as shown during the team’s 86-65 demolition of the South Koreans.

The 5-foot-7 Tang highlighted the team’s smoldering attack with a booming trey aside from orchestrating the team’s offense with almost razor-sharp precision.

While India is the world’s second most populated nation with close to 1.3 billion, the sport of basketball has little following unlike cricket where the country’s biggest stars are like mini-gods to them and are being worshipped.

But Indian coach Sunny Varghese is hopeful a basketball league will be created soon in their country believing they have what it takes to form a formidable team considering their vast population.

So facing Mighty Sports is another chance for them to learn a thing or two in the basketball arena.

Perasol, however, considers their game against the Indians as a perfect preparation for their much-awaited showdown with the Iranians on Friday.

It’s going to be a big one since the winner of the match can practically clinch the title provided they hurdled their Wednesday (Day 5) assignments.

The Mighty Sports dribblers were playing against the Japanese while the Iranians were slugging it out with the Koreans at presstime.

“Hopefully we can’t encounter much trouble when we play India so my imports can conserve their energy in time for our vital much with the Iranians,” added Perasol.

The Philippines hopes to notch its 6th title since Gilas Pilipinas ended 14 frustrating years with an impressive title run in 2012 behind LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood and naturalized Marcus Douthit. (REY C. LACHICA)