Foiled in its bid to get the services of Devon Dwayne Chism, Barako Bull has decided to go with Josh Dollard, confident the former Auburn University and University of South Carolina-Aiken stalwart has what it takes to help the Energy's title bid in the PBA Commissioner's Cup that gets going this Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After finishing ninth overall and failing to advance to the playoffs last season, Barako Bull initially planned to sign up the 6-foot-9 Chism as its reinforcement in the mid-season tourney and the former University of Tennessee mainstay even performed well in the Energy’s 94-89 win against reigning champion Alaska in a tune-up game last February 20, producing 25 points and 16 rebounds.
But his failure to get the release papers from his previous team, the Albacomp Fehervar in the Hungarian basketball league, forced team management to look for a quick replacement, paving the way for the entry of Dollard, 27, who is listed at 6-foot-7–probably the shortest among all the imports this conference.
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However, Barako Bull team officials are optimistic Dollard can offset his height disadvantage with his versatility and scorer’s mentality, having proven those during his stints in Turkey, the Czech Republic and Finland.
Whether Dollard is can compete with his taller counterparts will be known this Friday when he leads the Energy against the Leon Rodgers-bannered Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Dollard averaged 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Auburn Tigers as a freshman in 2005. He upped those averages to 12.5 points and 7.0 boards the next year. In his most recent international stint, Dollard averaged 20.6 points and 8.1 rebounds for UU-Korihait in Finland.
Completing the list for this conference reinforcements are reigning Best Import awardee Rob Dozier (Alaska), Herve Lamizana (Air21), Evan Brock (GlobalPort), Brian Butch (Meralco), Alexander McLean (Rain or Shine), Josh Boone (San Miguel Beer), James Mays (San Mig Super Coffee), and Richard Howell (Talk ‘N Text).