Rain or Shine and San Miguel Beer intensify their quest for title as they look for quality imports for the coming Commissioner’s Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association.
Elasto Painters’ head of basketball operations Caloy Garcia said they have already parted ways with Nick Evans following his forgettable performance in the William Jones Cup recently.
Together with Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Ange Kouame, Evans failed to lead the Elasto Painters to the semifinals of the Jones Cup, prompting the Elasto Painters to let him go.
“He is no longer with us,” Garcia, the longtime assistant coach of Yeng Guiao, told Daily Tribune in a telephone conversation.
“Right now, we’re looking for other prospects by going over our list.”
Guiao added that he advised the 6-foot-8 Evans to accept if there will be opportunities elsewhere.
“We don’t want us to be the reason why an opportunity would slip away from him,” Guiao, who also signed guard Andrei Caracut to a contract extension, said.
Caracut will be the second cornerstone to sign with Rain or Shine after Rey Nambatac signed a two-year extension last June.
“These imports are being offered elsewhere but, on the other hand, we cannot decide right away on our import choices so it’s best for Nick to get an offer because offers overseas are hard to come by.”
Meanwhile, the Beermen are also hunting for an import in the season-ending conference where height limit is pegged at 6-foot-10.
San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla said they are also looking for quality reinforcement after their original choice, National Basketball Association journeyman Rodney Hood, backed out.
The 6-foot-8 Hood could have been a prized catch.
The former Duke gunner was selected with the 23rd pick of the Utah Jazz in 2014 and had seen action with five other teams in the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.
His best performance was in the 2017-2018 season with the Jazz in which he averaged 16.8 points, including 40 percent from the three-point area in 39 games.
“He would have played overseas for the first time and he has three little kids, so he and his wife decided that it’s best for Rodney to stay in the US and continue to pursue his career there,” Abanilla said.
He added that Hood already had a video call with the Beermen coaching staff and had shown willingness to restart his career in Asia.
“Rodney even had a video call with the coaches and he appeared to be really interested to come here, but the circumstances didn’t favor it,” Abanilla, who initially thought of bringing back Chris McCullough, added.
“But that’s how the process goes in getting imports. You can never be sure unless he arrives in Manila.”
“Sometimes, things didn’t even work out because of the physical and psychological evaluation of the imports.”