Beermen left searching for another import

Naveen Ganglani
Beermen left searching for another import
San Miguel's initial choice Arinze Onuaku has drawn interest from some NBA teams prompting his agent to cancel talks for a possible PBA stint

MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Beermen are now left searching for a new import for the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup after their initial choice, Arinze Onuaku, and his agent Derrick Powell declined the offer of the franchise, Rappler learned on Tuesday, January 20.

A few weeks back, Rappler reported San Miguel was in the process of buying out Onuaku from his NBA D-League team, the Canton Charge, in order to attain his release and bring him to the Philippines to play in the next PBA conference that opens on January 27.

But due to Onuaku’s impressive performance in the NBA D-League showcase in Santa Cruz, California, NBA teams have expressed interest in giving him a call up to play in the league, thus putting a halt to his foray into Philippine basketball.

“As earlier reported, the Arinze buy-out was being processed, but due to his spectacular performance at the NBA D-League Showcase, NBA teams expressed interest and he can have a possible call-up,” said Onuaku’s representation in the Philippines, basketball agent Sheryl Reyes.

Even if he will not suit up for a PBA franchise this upcoming conference, the 27-year-old Lanham, Maryland-native isn’t rejecting the idea of a possible import job in the future.

“Although he (Onuaku) is interested to play in the PBA, his agent Derick Powell decided to decline the offer of San Miguel but made it clear that they (along with Onuaku and his international handler Giovanni Funciaciello) are not closing the doors if things don’t work out in the NBA,” said Reyes.

Onuaku played for 4 years with the Syracuse Orange in US NCAA Division I basketball. He had his best campaign in his senior season, where he put up 10.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in 32 games.

Onuaku went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft but has played a total of 5 NBA games with the New Orleans Pelicans and Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 1.0 PPG in 6 minutes per outing.

He spent most of his career in the NBA D-League with the Canton Charge. He was a member of the D-League Third Team in 2014 and made the league’s All-Star game twice in 2013 and 2014.

With Onuaku no longer an option, the Beermen are looking at some back-up options to take his spot, most of them former NBA and NBA D-League players.

But as of right now, the team is more focused on their finals series with the Aces.

The Beermen are currently locked in a 3-3 finals series tie with the Alaska Aces for the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup championship. Game 7 is scheduled on Wednesday, January 21. –

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