BARANGAY Ginebra may be coming off a win but the Gin Kings are determined not to skip a beat as they brought in a more versatile import in Jackson Vroman who will make his debut tofay against the Powerade Tigers at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
Vroman, a naturalized Lebanese, arrived early this week to replace Chris Alexander who played his farewell game in Dubai, United Arab Emirates where the Gin Kings came away with a pulsating 88-76 squeaker over Rain Or Shine.
In three games played, Alexander averaged 14 points, 20.33 rebounds, 2.33 assists, 0.33 steal, 1.67 blocked shots and 3.33 errors in 38 minutes to lead the Gin Kings to a 2-1 record.
Barangay Ginebra narrowly beat Petron Blaze, 84-82 on a game-winning shot by Jayjay Helterbrand. After that, the Gin Kings bowed to Alaska Milk, 76-74 in the first out-of-town match of the tournament held at the Quezon Convention center in Lucena City.
As it turned out, the 7-0 Alexander failed to dominate despite his size as he has slowed down.
“It’s a hard decision to make because Alexander led us to our last championship,” said Ginebra coach Bethune “Siot” Tanquingcen. “We need someone who coud run with us. Alexander was perfect for us back in 2007. But now we need someone else because there’s a different system.”
With Alexander in tow, Barangay Ginebra ruled the 2007 Fiesta Confernece. Alexander was even named Best Import of the tournament.
The 30-year old Vronanm 6-10, is a second round pick of the Chicago Bulls in 2004. He played for the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans and averaged 3.3 points in 87 games in four seasons. He suited up for Lebanon in the 2009 FIBA Asia and 2010 FIBA world championship.
Vroman will be going up against Dwayne Clinton Jones who is hoping to lead the Tigers back to the win column after they were beaten by Barako Bull, 101-91 last Friday. Jones averaged 22.67 points, 17.67 rebounds, two assists, a steal, 2.67 blocked shots and two errors in 39.33 minutes in his first three games with the Tigers.
This is the second straight game that Powerade will face a team that has just changed import. Last Friday, Barako Bull paraded Rodney Charles White who replaced an injured Dermarr Johnson.
Local match-up pits Mark Caguioa against Gary David. Caguioa is averaging in double-double (18.33 points and 10.33 rebounds). David, the leading local scorer of the tournament, is good for 28.67 points aside from 2.33 rebounds and one assist in 38.33 minutes.
Aside from Caguioa, two other Gin Kings are averaging in doble figures in scoring and these are Helterbrand (11.33 points) and newly acquired Kerby Raymundo (10.67).
Helping David out are prized rookies JVee Casio and Marcio Lassiter. Casio is good for 15 points, 4.33 rebounds, 8.33 assists, 0.67 steal and 2.67 errors in 35.33 minutes while Lassiter has 15.67 points, 6.67 rebounds, 4.67 assists, 1.67 steals, 0.67 blocked shot and 2.33 errors in 41 minutes.
Like Barangay Ginebra, Powerade has a 2-1 mark having won its first two games against Rain Or Shine (122-120) and Meralco (94-82).