San Miguel Beer will be bringing in Jessie Govan when it campaigns in the East Asia Super League.
Beermen team manager Gee Abanilla made the confirmation to Daily Tribune, saying that 6-foot-10 former Georgetown standout will serve as their second import in the 2023 EASL Champions Week from 1 to 5 March in Japan.
Govan nearly played for the Philippine Basketball Association.
In fact, he was considered to serve as the replacement of the ineffective Johnny O’Bryant at Meralco in the Commissioner’s Cup.
He, however, exceeded the 6-foot-10 height limit, prompting the Bolts to hire KJ McDaniels, who eventually became their reinforcement in the ongoing Governors’ Cup.
Govan, who went undrafted in the National Basketball Association Draft in 2019, will be joining Cameron Clark as import for the Beermen, who will face Anyang KGC of South Korea, Taipei Fubon Braves of Chinese Taipei, and the Ryukyu Golden Kings of Japan in the group stage of the EASL Champions Week.
Abanilla admitted that they mulled the possibility of bringing in their former import – Shabazz Muhammad – but they had a change of heart as they opted for a taller import.
Instead, Muhammad, the 14th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, will serve as the Beermen’s backup import since he also plays the same position as Clark.
The Beermen also reportedly inquired about their former import, Chris McCullough, but he is not yet in perfect shape after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear while playing in Taiwan.
“We opted for a big guy, knowing that in the EASL, there are a lot of big imports playing,” Abanilla said in a telephone conversation, adding that having Govan will give them the luxury of preserving six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo as he gears up for a major role in the FIBA World Cup in August.
Aside from San Miguel, the Philippines will be represented by TNT Tropang Giga in the fledgling international league.
The Tropang Giga will be facing Seoul SK Knights of South Korea, Utsunomiya Brex of Japan and the Bay Area Dragons of Hong Kong, which came up with a runner-up finish in the Commissioner’s Cup early this month.