REVENGE is definitely going to be the name of the game next conference in the PBA where at least six returning imports will be around, including the tried and tested Justin Brownlee, Charles Rhodes, Rob Dozier and Denzel Bowles.
Brownlee is set to reinforce anew the Barangay Ginebra team he has led to three PBA championships, and so is Rhodes who will beef up the already star-studded San Miguel Beer in the Commissioner’s Cup set to open on May 19.
The 6-foot-4 Brownlee led the Kings to championship victories in the 2016 Governors’ Cup, 2017 Governor’s Cup and 2018 Commissioner’s Cup where he was also the best import awardee.
The versatile Brownlee is also in tip-top shape as he will be suiting up for the Kings still fresh from a stint with the Al Riyadi Beirut which he also led to victory in the 2019 Antoine Choueiri Cup
The Beermen, who are still waging a war in the Philippine Cup finals, are bringing in the 33-year old Rhodes for another tour of duty with them in the midseason conference.
Rhodes, who led the Incheon ET Land Elephants to runner-up finish in the 2019 Korean Basketball League where he averaged 18.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists, was best import during as he led the Beermen to 4-2 win in the final series against Talk ‘N Text during the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
Two other tested imports coming to town again are Bowles and Dozier, who will play for Rain or Shine and Phoenix, respectively.
Bowles led B-Meg to the championship victory against Talk ‘N Text during the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup, and the Elasto Painters are hoping to change their fortunes with him around after they were bumped off by Magnolia in the semifinals of the 2019 Philippine Cup.
Reports had it that Bowles is arriving not later than May 6 for the Painters’ early build-up for the coming Commissioner’s Cup.
Just like the other imports coming to town, Bowles is fresh from a stint with Japanese team Kanazawa Samuraiz where he posted solid numbers of 21.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Dozier led Alaska to a 3-0 win over Barangay Ginebra during the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup, but he will be here to help the Fuel Masters rebound from a heart-rending loss in the semifinals of the Philippine Cup.
Brownlee, Rhodes, Bowles and Dozier are four of at least six ‘balik’ imports who will strut anew their wares in the tournament where the Gin Kings are seeking to defend.
NLEX is bringing in former Detroit Pistons Tony Mitchell and Blackwater Alex Stephenson, but Meralco and NorthPort have opted to tap first timers in Gani Lawal and Prince Ibeh, respectively. Lawal is a former member of the Nigerian national team and veteran of the Japanese pro league.
Also dying to change their fortune next conference after a forgettable in the past conferences, are the Columbian Dyip who will be reinforced by Kyle Barone. The Dyip finished with a dismal 4-7 record in the season-opening Philippine Cup.
Alaska is likely to get Chris Daniels, although the management has yet to announce it formally, while Magnolia, according to coach Chito Victolero, is still without import at the moment. The same goes for Talk ‘N Text which is still in search for import.