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BEERMEN INK NJ NETS STARTER BOONE; DOLLARD TO BARAKO BULL

08:10 PM February 28, 2014

Former NBA starter Josh Boone is bringing his act to the local pro loop, reinforcing the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup which fires off March 5.

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Boone, listed in the NBA as a 6-foot-10 player, started for the New Jersey Nets at center spot in the 2007-08 NBA season where he averaged 8.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in 70 games.

The Maryland native was drafted 23rd overall in the 2006 NBA Draft and played four seasons with the Nets after starring for the UConn Huskies whom he helped to the national collegiate championship in his rookie year in 2004.

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Boone, June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos are to form a high-powered frontline combination for the Beermen who begin their Commissioner’s Cup campaign versus the Meralco Bolts on March 7.

Meanwhile, Barako Bull settled with an undersized but versatile import in Joshua Dollard after Dwayne Chism failed to get his release from the Hungarian basketball league.

After playing a single tune-up game with the Energy, Chism, a wide-bodied 6-foot-9 banger, left Manila to face a contract dispute with his previous team in Hungary.

A former Fort Wayne Mad Ant in the NBA D-League, Chism made good impression in his single game with Barako Bull, churning out 25 point and 16 rebounds to lead the Energy to a 94-89 victory over the Alaska Aces.

“Sayang, he’s good,” said Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos.

Chism’s departure opened the opportunity for Dollard to play with the Energy.

Dollard is also impressive but has his drawback – a small size of six feet and seven inches that doesn’t solve Barako’s lack of ceiling.

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The former Auburn Tiger will be the shortest among the imports since Air21 and Meralco, the last two placers in the Philippine Cup, are allowed to field imports with a maximum height of 6-foot-11 while the rest have a 6-foot-9 cap.

Reigning Commissioner’s Cup Best Import Rob Dozier of Alaska leads the import roster that includes Leon Rodgers (Barangay Ginebra), Herve Lamizana (Air21), Evan Brock (GlobalPort), Alexander McLean (Rain or Shine), James Mays (San Mig Super Coffee), Richard Howell (Talk n Text) and Brian Butch (Meralco).

Dozier and his Alaska teammates open their title defense versus Howell and the Tropang Texters on March 5.

Ushering in the Alaska-TnT match is the GlobalPort-Air21 faceoff featuring the showdown between Brock and Lamizana.

Dollard, a veteran international player with stints in Turkey, Czech Republic and Finland, debuts in Philippine basketball versus Leon Rodgers and the Kings on March 7.

In practices, Dollard has made an impression as a player who can score in so many ways.

“Magaling gumalaw. May back to the basket. Deadly ang perimeter, may salaksak, malakas ang katawan sa ilalim. Tumi three points pa,” said Barako Bull Energy assistant coach Jigs Mendoza as quoted in a sports website story.

“He’s relatively short but has a strong upper body. He’s ready for physical battles,” said Willie Miller. (SB)

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