2 imports make debut in PBA
4:15 p.m.- Mahindra vs. GlobalPort
7:00 p.m.- Barangay Ginebra vs. NLEX
TWO IMPORTS get their baptism of fire when the Mahindra Enforcers and the GlobalPort Batang Pier take on each other in Friday’s twin-bill of the newly-opened 41st PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Mahindra will be fielding six-foot-10 behemoth August Gilchrist, who will go up against fellow newcomer Brian Williams.
Williams, who is also listed at six-foot-10, played for a spell in the Asean Basketball League where he suited up for the San Miguel Beermen.
Mahindra is the lone squad in the 12-team field which was allowed to tap an import of an unlimited height for being an expansion.
The other expansion team, the Blackwater Elite, lost the same privilege after they made it to the playoffs in the previous conference.
Mahindra is looking to finally advance to the playoffs for the first time in its young franchise.
The Batang Pier showed some improvements in the previous conference where they completed a first-ever semifinal appearance.
The Final Four stint, however, was cut short after the Batang Pier was dismissed by the Alaska Aces after five games in their best-of-seven series.
Meanwhile, the main game will feature come-backing imports with the Barangay Ginebra Kings clashing with the NLEX Road Warriors.
The Road Warriors have brought back Al Thornton, a legitimate former NBA player who once played for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Thornton will be matched up against Othyus Jeffers, who was tapped by Ginebra to help the team end an eight-year title drought.
The wide-bodied Jeffers is also a former NBA player after having played with the Washington Wizards.
Jeffers showed flashes of brilliance in his brief stint with the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the 2014 Governors’ Cup.
Jeffers’ stint with the Tropang Texters came to an abrupt end as he had to leave because of complications in his NBA contract.
The Kings of head coach Tim Cone are looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking campaign in the Philippine Cup.
Ginebra made it to the quarterfinal round but couldn’t advance to the next phase after it bowed down to GlobalPort in a highly controversial do-or-die match.
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