PBA Imports: Small is Terrible



Maurice Baker is not the best import in the PBA at the moment and it could pose as a problem in the Talk N Text Tropang Texters’ drive for a grand slam.

I’m not saying he’s a bad hire. Combine him with Jason Castro and the Tropang Texters have a vaulted backcourt combo. 

It’s his height.

It's his inability to add size!

I am not a fan of small imports. I am not normally judgmental about height discrepancies but in this case I am. During the 2011 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, I was extremely pissed off on the imports’ low production and crappy stats.

Sure, this is not the 1980’s where an import would score 60 points on a regular basis.

But also during those days, a 6’5 Abet Guidaben was portrayed as a giant.

The PBA now is a different league than it was then. Danny Seigle is around 6’6 and plays the slasher positions. Ditto for Jared Dillinger. Joe Devance, Kelly Williams, Jay Washington, and Arwind Santos are players that can play multiple positions with great ease. With the advent of great local scorers like James Yap, Solomon Mercado, Macmac Cardona, Gary David, and Mark Caguioa, the importance of imports has been directed to rebounding and becoming a low post threat.

It’s puzzling to see how the quality of imports has decreased as of late. A couple of years ago, former Ginebra King Chris Alexander averaged 20 points and 20 rebounds. Now we have imports averaging a little under 20 points and a shade fewer than 7 rebounds. Sure, the guards are piling in a bunch of assists to go with 5 or 6 rebounds a night but the PBA at the moment is souped up with backcourt stars that playing them in the position will rob many of their playing time. Sure, this ruling will give local behemoths the means to make their selves more productive but the more I see imports having mediocre stats... the more I couldn't stand it. 

There were only two imports in the Commish Cup that I liked – Paul Harris and Nate Brumfield. Both players combined offensive firepower and rebounding capabilities. These are the reasons why both players stuck for the duration of the conference. Brumfield is also commended for shutting down Smart- Gilas who boasts 6’11 naturalized star Marcus Douthit. Ginebra desperately needed Brumfield because they are overloaded with slashers and shooters.

Actually if you look at it, it is no surprise that Ginebra and Petron won games without the services of an import in the 2011 Governor’s Cup. An import might be handy when they reach the finals but the games of Mark Caguioa and Arwind Santos epitomizes the fact that small imports can’t compete properly in the PBA.  


WHERE ARE SEAN CHAMBERS AND BOBBY PARKS WHEN
YOU NEED THEM?! 


While I am a fan of Curtis Stinson because he looks like a better and bigger version of Topex Robinson, he is still small. Ginebra needs big men more than ever especially since Yancy de Ocampo is their only credible inside threat that is always healthy and Willy Wilson is a shade taller than Stinson. The constant DNP’s of Eric Menk and Billy Mamaril, the season-ending injury of Enrico Villanueva and the exodus of Rudy Hatfield are factors why the Kings are in need of an import that can play post.

The problem is, at 6’2, what is there left?

A typical PBA import must be all-around and imposing. He must not get pushed out of the spotlight but that’s not the case now. Ginebra is expected to change Stinson while B-Meg and Petron hope their third import would stick.

The reason we have Douthit in the Smart-Gilas lineup is to solve our lack of height. As it is, our shooters and slashers can be at par with the imports. If there are 6’2 or even 6’4 imports that can score and rebound and play frontcourt, they’re probably playing in leagues that offer big money and more realistic chances to jump to the NBA.

Sadly it’s not the case in the PBA.

Hopefully the PBA would revise their requirements next season.

Game over.

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