All eyes on ‘Great White Hope’
Spotlight will be trained on Cameron Krutwig when he powers Blackwater in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup starting 21 September.
Bossing head coach Ariel Vanguardia yesterday said he is hoping that Krutwig will follow the paths taken by other white imports who made their marks in the Asia’s oldest professional cage league.
Pete Crotty won a championship while playing for Crispa in the third conference of the league’s first season.
David Wood suited up with the Purefoods Hotdogs and nearly carried his team to the finals of the 2001 Commissioner’s Cup, the same tournament where Ryan Fletcher suited up for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Damian Cantrell also had a decent showing playing for TNT 20 years ago.
Nick Fazekas saw action for the Petron Blaze Boosters more than a decade ago and proved that he can hold his own against the more athletic reinforcements while Jack Vroman became endeared to PBA fans when he played for the Gin Kings.
Vanguardia believes that Krutwig, a 6-foot-8 forward who helped the Loyola Ramblers to an upset win over top seed Illinois in the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament last year, has the qualities to emerge as the league’s next “Great White Hope.”
“He’s got great attitude, he’s a willing passer and our local players likes him so much because they know they’re going to be involved in every play,” Vanguardia told the Daily Tribune.
“He works so hard and he’s no primadonna.”
One of the youngest players at 23, Krutwig even outdueled the more experienced Earl Clark of NLEX during their tune-up match.
He was also able to hold his own against the Bay Area Dragons big men, including 7-foot-5 center Liu Chuanxing, giving Vanguardia a good reason to believe that they finally found a great white gem.
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