Thoughts: Imports losing their cool is so uncool

 

Before we knew him as a Gilas Pilipinas cadet, Kevin Ferrer is a smug scoring machine that annoys the hell out of his opponents.

 

Just check out a couple of his UAAP games in which he sticks his tongue like a fierce raptor.

 

Like a raptor!

 

And while his scoring has yet to present itself in the big Philippine baller stage, he is still that big-headed SOB that endeared him with the UST faithful.

 

Playing for Tim Cone’s Barangay Ginebra Kings, he transformed into an enforcer of Benny Cheng-like proportions.

 

Sure I care that Troy Rosario had 28 points and Jayson Castro had 26 for TNT. Glen Rice Jr. had a measly two points though. The output delivered by Rosario and Castro were matched by Justin Brownlee though (aka Tim Cone’s Ginebra version of Sean Chambers and Marqus Blakely) so that two points is definitely a letdown.

 

You can thank Ferrer for sending Rice to the showers. He became one of the many imports to fall from grace because they couldn’t handle the pressure. Import stoppers are there to stop the imports by hook or by crook. Rice’s points went bye-bye in Game 4 but acting like a decoy to open Rosario, Castro, Roger Pogoy, and Anthony Semerad proved vital for TNT KaTropa to erect that otherwise insurmountable lead. Losing Rice led to TNT’s second half fall. As much as a gifted scorer Rice is… he is undeniable the focal point of TNT’s offense.

 

Again, you can call Mick Pennisi a crappy actor for his delayed fall when Will McDonald threw a ball on his face… or perhaps rue James Yap for karate kicking, laughing like a madman, and running away from Terrence Leather, but these incident messed up the other team’s supposed fired up engine. Rice, like Ivan Johnson, probably Tyler Wilkerson, and most likely Renaldo Balkman, think highly of their talents that they think they are untouchable. Remember when Tony Mitchell used to shoot the lights out without thinking that he has teammates? While this is far better than being a dud a la Terik Bridgeman, this thinking puts them in a tough spot especially the moment they figure out that they aren’t as awesome.

 

Filipinos have mastered the art of psychological warfare. It’s like we have this certain knack to emulate the gameplay of Dennis Rodman… and share it in our genes like bootleg programs from various low-end stalls in the metro. A player can look as fierce as Rudy Distrito and Dante Gonzalgo or even as handsome as Chris Tiu.

 

The first thought I had when I saw Tiu donning the Rain or Shine colors was “oh shit… I saw Tiu roughhouse some dude twice his size in the Dubai International Basketball Tournament so yes… teaming up with Yeng Guiao will just make him more insane on defense”.

 

I wonder if Chris Tiu is going to retire after this season or would at least sign with the NLEX Road Warriors?

 

Brownlee will never book a spot in the NBA because he’s an undersized power forward who’s already in his prime but as far as becoming a PBA import extraordinaire, he’s already right up there with the best Ginebra reinforcements of all-time. This is only his third conference with the squad and Ginebra has yet to lose a semis seat. If Ginebra *cough* NO *cough* loses their title retention, Brownlee needs to return to battle Allen Durham to an epic decider.

 

As for TNT, maybe they could give Rice a chance. He may be a ball hog but it’s not like he’s doing this all the time. The only thing he needs to do is to act mature. Rice must know that he’s more superior to Ferrer in terms of importance and it’s almost impossible for a PBA team to win with an import handicap. I guess Rice was probably ransacking the TNT locker room after he shoved Ferrer by the neck. The mere sight of Nash Racela looking aimlessly when he saw his team trying their earnest to settle Rice down said it all. Cone knows how to play Rice and if Rice can’t deal with his temper then I guess the entire would also know how to defend against him as well.

 

As for Ferrer, maybe he’s going to have a career in the league. I have doubts on whether or not he can become a semblance of his former heavy scoring self but pissing off an import in an important match is better than any crossover or even a last minute heave he could ever concoct.

 

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