11:37 PM February 5th, 2013

February 5th, 2013 11:37 PM

When the PBA Commissioner’s Cup opens shop on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, only one import will stand less than three feet lower than the hoop.

Rain or Shine’s Bruno Sundov was officially measured at 7 feet, 2 ¾ inches during the import orientation held at the PBA Office in Quezon City Tuesday presided over by commissioner Chito Salud. He is the tallest among the 10 foreign reinforcements in the conference featuring imports with no height limit.

The native of Split, Croatia, who has seen action in the NBA, is likewise the oldest, turning 33 this coming Sunday.

Keith Benson of Talk n Text is the second tallest import at 6-11, with San Mig Coffee’s Matt Rogers coming in next at 6-9 ¼.

During the orientation, the imports were briefed on the rich history of the PBA, their obligations as PBA imports, league rules, the league’s drug policy, the do’s and the don’ts and their conduct on and off the court.

Technical matters, especially the playing rules and officiating philosophy unique to the PBA, were also tackled.

“Filipino basketball fans are always excited whenever a conference with imports of unlimited height comes up,” said commissioner Salud. “From what I’ve been hearing, we’ve got a good batch of imports in town. I’m sure they will provide our fans with a heavy dose of hard basketball action that everyone loves. We are in for a lot of exciting games ahead.”

Michael Dunigan of the Air21 Express, who was measured at 6-8 13/16, is the youngest in the group at 23.

All the imports attended the orientation. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Herbert Hill and Alaska’s Robert Dozier were both measured at 6-8 ¾, Barako Bull’s Evan Brock 6-8 ½, GlobalPort’s Justin Williams 6-8 and Meralco’s Eric Dawson 6-7 13/16.

The shortest import, but the one with the best credentials, is Petron Blaze’s Renaldo Balkman. He stands just 6-6 but is a six-year NBA veteran. He is said to be a perfect fit to the Boosters’ system with his sterling all-around game. (JL)

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