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Imports look to play major roles for their respective teams as the PBA Commissioner’s Cup which starts tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
One fantastic reinforcement may make the team a legitimate contender while a “lemon”, a term used for lackluster imports, could make another play catchup, especially in the eliminations being a single-round format.
Here are TEMPO’S rankings for the upcoming midseason conference:
12. MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER
James White returns for another tour of duty with Mahindra, hoping to lead the franchise to a second playoff appearance. However, the Floodbuster may encounter another rough campaign after going 3-8 in the Philippine Cup.
11. BLACKWATER ELITE
The Elite added some NBA experience to their in Greg Smith, who was a role player for the Houston Rockets several years earlier. Though surrounded by young talent, the team is still searching its true identity as it begins another playoff bid.
10. NLEX ROAD WARRIORS
Wayne Chism is back for a third stint in the PBA, reuniting with coach Yeng Guiao after two seasons with Rain or Shine. After a disastrous Philippine Cup, the Road Warriors look to finally have the winning formula under the fiery mentor.
9. PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS
Stand-in import Eugene Phelps looks to give Phoenix a strong start to set the tone for its quest to reach past the quarterfinals. New acquisition RJ Jazul hopes to provide local stability for the Fuel Masters.
8. GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER
The Batang Pier are banking on former New Jersey Net Sean Williams strength in the middle to compliment their strong backcourt led by Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle. Romeo is also aiming to build on his strong Philippine Cup where he led the league in scoring and finished second in the Best Player of the Conference race.
7. MERALCO BOLTS
The Bolts were a disappointment last conference but are poised for a recovery in the first of two import-laced tournaments. Former NBA D-Leaguer Alex Stepheson tries to follow what Best Imports Arinze Onuaku and Allen Durham did last season when they led Meralco to the playoffs in the Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cup, respectively.