NBA vets Williams, Walker highlight PBA Govs Cup imports

Naveen Ganglani
A slew of frequent visitors and NBA vets compose the reinforcements for the 2014 PBA Governors Cup
IMPORTED MILK. Former New York Knick Bill Walker (R) will be counted on to provide long-range shooting for the Alaska Aces. Photo by Justin Lane/EPA

MANILA, Philippines – The best-of-five PBA PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup Finals series between the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters and San Mig Coffee Mixers has just started, but that hasn’t halted both clubs and the other eight teams in the PBA from finalizing the imports who they hope will lead their teams to the promise land in the upcoming PBA Governor’s Cup.

The next conference is slated to begin two days after the conclusion of the SMC-TNT series.

The biggest revelation so far comes from the side of the San Miguel Beermen, which have decided to roll the dice with former Oklahoma City Thunder player Reggie Williams rather than going with Elijah Millsap once again.

This news comes as a shock to many since it was revealed by many sources a few days ago that Millsap, who played for San Miguel (then called the Petron Blaze Boosters) in the 2013 Governor’s Cup, was once again supposed to be the franchise’s choice for this season and was already practicing with the team. However, it now appears that the organization has decided to go in a different direction.

Williams, who has played for three teams in his NBA stint, has averaged 8.5 PPG and 2.6 RPG in his career. His best season took place in 2009-2010, when while playing for the Golden State Warriors, he put up 15.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.8 APG.

Talk ‘N Text, on the other hand, will go with Othyus Jeffers. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Jeffers has played for four teams in his NBA lifeline, averaging 3.9 PPG in 35 total games played. Just a few months ago, he saw action for the San Antonio Spurs, before the team eventually decided to cut him.

Speaking of the Tropang Texters, their opponents in tonight’s game, the San Mig Coffee Mixers, will bank on Marqus Blakely once again.

Not a stranger to Philippine Basketball, Blakely has already been with the team over these past few weeks and has also been present in SMC’s Commissioner’s Cup games. Last Governor’s Cup, the former Vermont College standout averaged 24 points and 15 rebounds a contest for the Mixers, helping lead them to the title.

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine supporters can expect the return of Arizona Reid in a few days. After serving import duties for the Elasto Painters twice in the past three years, the all-around player (30 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists a game in 2013) will once again look to make an impact for his club in the 2014 Governor’s Cup.

After consecutive disappointing finishes in recent conferences, the Alaska Aces have turned to a shooting expert in former New York Knick Bill Walker, with the hope that the import can lead the team to a deeper playoff run in the Governor’s Cup. 

In his NBA career, Walker shot 38% from three-point range in five seasons, making Alaska, which already has guys like Cyrus Baguio, Dondon Hontiveros, and JV Casio, an even deadlier 3-ball shooting team. Furthermore, he has also shown the ability to be a pesky defender, which will make him fit right in Aces head coach Luigi Trilo’s defensive-minded approach. 

Other imports expected to be in action next conference include LeRoy Hickerson, a 32-year-old PBA veteran who will be in action for Global Port Batang Pier; Alex Durham, a teammate of Wesley Witherspoon in France who will play for Air21; Terrence Williams, who has played in the NBA, NBA D-League, Turkey, China, and Puerto Rico and now for the Meralco Bolts; Zaccheus Mason, a Nashville, Tennessee native who will suit up for Ginebra, and Eric Wise, a four-year US NCAA veteran who will look to improve Barako Bull. –

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