Tested imports for SMB, TNT in Governors' Cup

Neljum Sandana
Neljum Sandana of the Alberei Kings drives for the basket, easily breaking the defense of the Engineers in the second quarter of their game yesterday.

The  two clubs which figured in an exciting title duel in the recent PBA Commissioner’s Cup have tapped tested imports in a spirited bid  to do well again in the Governors’ Cup which is tentatively scheduled to unfold on Sept. 20.

Newly-crowned Commissioner’s Cup champion San Miguel Beer is taking the services of seasoned Dez Wells as they bid to complete a rare grandslam under coach Leo Austria.

On the other hand, losing finalist Talk ‘N Text will be reinforced by KJ McDaniels as they try to rebound from a 4-2 loss to the Beermen in the previous conference that prolonged their four-year title drought.

Wells is not new to big, tough battles. He had played in the NBA G-League and top professional leagues in Europe especially in Italy and Greece after playing out a  collegiate career with the Maryland Terapins.

For the Beermen, this will be their second stab at grand slam under Austria after missing it in 2017 with a team powered by Renaldo Balkman. They lost this conference to sister team Ginebra San Miguel..

McDaniels will come on board trying to make KaTropa figure prominently again in the title race under Mark Dickels, who has good words for the American import.

“I expect defense from him,” Dickeks said of McDaniels, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

“He’s a complete player,” he said of McDasniels, who, incidentally, was Terrence Jones’ former teammate at Houston many years ago. Jones was Ka Tropa’s import in the Commissioner’s Cup.

How good they are will be initially known when Wells and McDaniels banner their respective teams in the Asia League’s Terrific 12 tournament  set in Macau starting on Sept. 17.

Blackwater is the other PBA team competing in the short but tough tournament.