REINFORCEMENTS HAVE ARRIVED. The 2017 Governors' Cup imports
Paul Lintag on Jul 14, 2017 02:52 PM
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham has some unfinished business for the Meralco Bolts.
Basketball does not stop as a new PBA conference will tip off Wednesday with the 2017 Governors' Cup.
Imports will once again add flavor to Asia's oldest play-for-pay league and familiar faces will once again lead the charge, particularly for the defending champions.
Unlike the Commissioner's Cup where imports had no height limit, the PBA will enforce a maximum height of 6'5" for reinforcements in the season-ending tournament.
BRGY. GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL
Suiting up for the Gin Kings in the mid-season Commissioner's Cup, Justin Brownlee is staying around as Brgy. Ginebra hopes to make it back-to-back this conference and deny rival San Miguel a shot at a Grand Slam.
Despite not making the Finals last time around, the Brownlee-Ginebra connection remains as dangerous as ever after the Gin Kings actually took care of the no. 1 seed before running into Joshua Smith and TNT in the semifinals.
The losing finalists from the 2016 Governors' Cup, Meralco also brought back a familiar force in Allen Durham.
The reigning Best Import led the Bolts to their first-ever Finals last year and you can bet that he wants to finish some unfinished business with Meralco this time around.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN
San Miguel's hopes for a triple crown now lies on the shoulders of Wendell McKines, who is no stanger to the style of play in the PBA.
The Beermen will be McKines' third team in the country after previously suiting up for Alaska and Rain or Shine.
After returning to the PBA Finals with the towering Joshua Smith, TNT is going with another hefty import for the Governors' Cup in Michael Craig.
After playing for Southern Mississippi College, Craig went undrafted in the NBA. He had previous stints in the Korean Basketball League before landing in TNT.
Kia originally had Chane Behanan as its reinforcement for the Governors' Cup but the Picanto now scramble for a replacement after the former NCAA champion with the Louisville Cardinals went over the height limit.
Behanan was party of the 2013 title team that beat Michigan at the end of March Madness.
Another returning import for the season-ending joust is Buck Henton.
Henton played for the Aces last year, leading Alaska to the no. 6 seed with a 6-5 record. However, the sweet-shooting Henton failed to tow his team past eventual champion Ginebra, losing an instant classic in the quarterfinals.
NLEX ROAD WARRIORS
Is third time the charm for Yeng Guiao's NLEX?
The Road Warriors will feature a high-flying forward in Aaron Fuller for the Governors' Cup and based from the import's performance against Gilas Pilipinas in a tune-up game, it appears that NLEX will have more than two wins to show for this time around.
PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS
"El Destructor" is back for good as Phoenix will parade Eugene Phelps again in the season-ending tournament.
Phelps played one game for the Fuel Masters in the Commissioner's Cup, scoring 53 points in a double-overtime win against Blackwater. Last year, Phelps came in and helped save Phoenix's conference, leading the team to its first-ever playoff appearance as the no. 8 seed.
RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
Rain or Shine will play in the Governors' Cup with 24-year-old JD Weatherspoon as its import.
Weatherspoon had previous stints in Europe, playing in Norway and in Finland.
GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER
Former Georgetown Hoya Jabril Trawick will suit up for the Batang Pier in the Governors' Cup as the team looks to break through to the semifinals for the second time in franchise history.
Trawick played in the NBA D-League, winning a championship in 2016 with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
The Hotshots are going with Cinmeon Bowers in the Governors' Cup after fan-favorite Marqus Blakely was unavailable this time around.
Bowers in an undersized power forward who saw action in college for the Auburn Tigers.
The Elite got an athletic wing in Trevis Simpson to complete the cast of Governors' Cup imports.
After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Simpson played pro ball in Europe, particularly in Greece, before finding his way to Blackwater.
The 2017 PBA Governors' Cup will open on July 19 at the Araneta Coliseum.
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