Despite playing with a shorthanded roster, Blackwater is not pushing the panic button and all the more needs the presence of its do-it-all import Cameron Krutwig.
The Bossing are sticking with Krutwig amid unconfirmed reports circulating that they are replacing the wide-bodied American import with former San Miguel reinforcement Chris McCullough.
“Not true,” Blackwater head coach Ariel Vanguardia said.
“We’re a decimated team with injuries hitting our key players but our main concern now is to get better with the players that we have.”
Troy Rosario is out with a plantar fasciitis injury, while Baser Amer got injured his back during their 98-108 loss to TNT Tropang Giga last Saturday.
JV Casio is also being sidelined by an abdominal hernia, according to Vanguardia.
With the injury bug hitting the team, Vanguardia believes Krutwig is still the logical choice to carry them as they try to make the last push for a potential second straight playoffs appearance.
“He’s more of a passing big,” Vanguardia said during his interview with Non-Stop Sports.
“He’s more of a facilitator. He’s my point center right now. I know he’s also capable of scoring, rebounding and all those stuff, definitely, he’s one of the better passers, if not the best passing big man the PBA ever had.”
Krutwig is not the typical high-scoring import, but he provides everything needed both on the stats sheet as well as the intangibles.
In seven games this conference, Krutwig has averaged 21.7 points, 16.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists and a steal per game.
Only 23 years old, Krutwig is the league’s youngest import, but he was able to stand his ground with his hard work and all-around performance.
“I think we have a young squad. It’s a hardworking squad. A lot of guys have that on their game. Basketball rewards all those who work hard,” Vanguardia added.
“We got a bunch of grinders on this team. Ato Ular may not be the best knockdown shooter, but he makes up for that with his hustle plays and he has the nose for the ball and a good rebounder. You can always count on him to get two or three big offensive rebounds.”
Vanguardia said Krutwig’s all-around game makes him a good fit for the Bossing, who will now bank on rookie Ular, Rey Suerte, veteran slotman Yousef Taha, guards Gab Banal, Rashawn McCarthy, Justin Melton to newly-acquired guard Trevis Jackson.