PBA Preview: ‘Chip on his shoulder. (Richard Howell, Talk’N Text Tropang Texters)

Richard Howell was almost there, and he’s back to try again.

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Turn the clock back around 8 months. Richard Howell is straight out of posting an insane season stat line from the PBA, then playing for Talk’N Text Tropang Troopers. He posted an Offensive Rating of 112 and a defensive rating of 89.4 both of which were among the top tier of the league. It was good enough to garner him the Best Import of the Conference trophy.

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What’s underrated about this picture is how much glorious facial hair we have going on here.

Yet while he collected all these achievements, what stings him the most is that he didn’t win the biggest prize of them all. The Tropang Texters would advance all the way to the Commissioner’s Cup finals only to lose to eventual Grand Slam winners, San Mig Coffee Mixers.

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You can just hear James May (Then San Mig Coffee Mixers Import) laughing in this picture.

That must have left a chip on Richard Howell’s shoulder as it seems to have taken much time to convinve Richard Howell to come back and take over the PBA again.

Howell’s professional career is still in the making at this point, still one of the younger imports. He had a gradually improving collegiate career at NC state. During his collegiate career, Howell has encountered the most of the Commissioner Cup imports out of anyone:

In the 2009-2010 season, Howell and Josh Davis (then at NC State) played Florida State who had Solomon Alabi (signed with Barako Bulls) and beat them twice.

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Solomon Alabi (Barako Bulls Import) is on the left blocking Josh Davis’ (Center) shot.

In the 2010-2011 season, Howell and CJ Leslie (NC State) teamed up to play Rick Jackson (signed with Rain or Shine). This time NC State loss.

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Leslie (left) double teaming with Howell (right) in a game against Georgetown.

Among the import, only Howell and Michael Dunnigan has played in the PBA and only Howell has played for the same team.

So Howell, other than the Accolade of being the reigning Commissioner’s Cup Best Import of the Conference, also had the edge of familiarity compared to the other imports.

Howell is a tenecious rebounder, as most PBA fans got to see last year when he grabbed 18.62 rebounds per game for Talk’N Text last year which is a whopping 24.64% of total rebounds available. The texters were quite okay with being the second to last team in offensive rebound percentage in the Philippine Cup as they made it to the Semifinal round before bowing down to eventual champions, San Miguel Beermen. With an addition of Howell into that area however, it might be a huge push over the edge to finally get that chip of Richard Howell’s shoulder and into Talk ‘N Text history books.

Here’s a picture of Richard Howell without a beard, just because.

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Smooth Criminal

Check out the previews for the other imports here:
Josh Davis, Meralco Bolts
Michael Dunigan, Ginebra San Miguel
Peter John Ramos, KIA Sorento/Carnival
CJ Leslie, Global Port Batang Pier
Chris Charles, Blackwater Elite
Solomon Alabi, Barako Bull Energy Cola

recap

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