source: Reynaldo Belen | InterAKTV
Rain or Shine became the second team to replace its original reinforcement this week prior to the start of the Commissioner’s Cup, opting to cut former Phoenix Suns center Jake Voskuhl.
In his place, the Elasto Painters are bringing in Willard “Duke” Crews, who is coming off a stint in Uruguay.
Last week, Alaska replaced original prospect Matt Haryasz with former Red Bull reinforcement Adam Parada.
Rain or Shine executive Mamerto Mondragon confirmed the news to InterAKTV in a telephone interview.
“Pumirma na siya ng offer sheet, pero we’re still waiting na makasakay siya, baka kasi mamya magbago pa ng isip,” said Mondragon of the 6-foot-8 Crews, who figures to be the shortest import in the tournament, which imposes no height limits on reinforcements.
Rain or Shine assistant Caloy Garcia said that the team is cutting Voskuhl to make way for an import who provides more offensive punch.
“Coach Yeng [Guiao] told us that we need an import who can post up and score. That’s the problem with Voskuhl. Although he’s a solid defender and rebounder, he’s not known to be a scorer, so we believe it would be better for us to have Crews,” said Garcia.
An athletic inside operator, Crews was a highly-touted prospect out of high school before signing up with University of Tennessee. But he got into trouble in college, getting cut by Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl amid a marijuana violation and nagging injuries.
He transferred to Division II school Bowie State, where he performed well enough in his final two years of college to become a borderline NBA prospect.
Since leaving school, he has played in Europe and Uruguay, where he averaged 23.5 points and 10.7 rebounds with the Cader ballclub.
“We’re not worried if he’s the smallest import in the tournament because we saw how Steven Thomas played before and carried Air 21 to the finals. Crews is an undersized big man, who can defend, score, and get the rebounds,” said Garcia.
Crews will complete the import cast in the Commissioner’s Cup which opens on Friday. Other imports seeing action are Denzel Bowles (B-MEG), DeMarr Johnson (Barako Bull), Chris Alexander (Ginebra), Nick Fazekas (Petron Blaze), Parada (Alaska), Jelani McCoy (Meralco), Omar Samhan (Talk N Text), Dwayne Jones (Powerade) and Marcus Douthit (Air 21).