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PBA teams, imports near deals

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The search for imports is now in full swing heading into the second conference of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in November.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Magnolia, Terrafirma and Blackwater had already secured the commitment of their respective choices in a bid to dominate the import-flavored conference that would be held for the first time in two years.

Cone said they had already contacted Justin Brownlee, who is ready to fly in anytime pending the decision of the league to push through with the import-flavored conference.

“We would love to have Justin back. We really hope the plan of bringing imports for next conference would be realized,” said Cone, who has a penchant for keeping a “resident import” since handling Alaska back in the day.

Johnedel Cardel, meanwhile, stressed that they would be reunited with Khapri Alston, who last played with them in the Governors’ Cup in 2019.

He said the 6-foot-3 American is in great shape and is already familiar to the system that they are running. He is also a versatile player, similar to Brownlee, who won three titles with the Kings.

“We’ll be having Alston again, we are now just negotiating about the price. If he agrees with our deal, then he’ll fly here soon,” Cardel told the Daily Tribune in a conversation.

“We want to have a very athletic scorer who can play all positions like three, four or five, just like Brownlee.”

Meanwhile, Chito Victolero and Ariel Vanguardia refused to identify their prospects, but stressed that they are getting close to reaching a deal.

We would love to have Justin back.

Victolero, for one, hinted that they are currently in touch with three imports who have previously played in the PBA and their discussion will just boil down on who will be ready to fly as soon as possible.

“Yes (they played here previously). We are talking to three players and we want to know if they are available,” Victolero said.

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