TBL Preview: Imported Goods Part 4

Imports are always a fun part of an Asian Basketball League. Leagues need a strong foundation of local players, but it’s the imports that bring a sense “star power” to the leagues.

This is Part Four of the TBL Imports Preview.

So let’s talk about Imports. As mentioned in the TBL introduction preview earlier, there will be both World and ASEAN Imports. In total, this means that we could potentially see as many as 21 imports in total.

This will be a four-part write up featuring the imports of the TBL and I’ll try to follow the chronological order of when the news surfaced. Here are parts 1-4:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

I’ll be naming the import first, before finishing his section by announcing where he will be playing. Just to make things…fun.

สำหรับภาษาไทย อ่านได้ที่นี่นะครับ

Let us continue:


Devaughn Washington

ohiobobcats
Credit Photo: Ohio Bobcats
BACKGROUND

The funny thing about Devaughn Washington was how I spent a solid 2-3 days trying to figure out who he was. I had spent a couple of days searching for a “Devon Washington” which was never going to lead me anywhere.

In the end, it would finally lead me to the former Ohio Bobcat, Devaughn Washington.

Washington, or as normally referred to as D, slowly grew into his role at Ohio University. His role expanded in his sophomore year, but it was in his senior year that he would eventually shine the brightest, playing alongside All-MAC first team DJ Cooper. He himself would be an All-MAC honorable mention.

DeVaughn started out his first two overseas seasons in Turkey and Austria, but he would find Japan as a second home and spent the past three years playing in the NBL Japan.

Now he expands his travels to Thailand.

STATS

NBL Japan 2015-2016, Kumamoto Vorters: 12.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 20.0 PER, 21.3 MPG
NBL Japan 2014-2015, Hyogo Storks: 10.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 13.3 PER, 10 games
NBL Japan 2013-2014, Kumamoto Vorters: 20.2 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 24.0 PER, 29.8 MPG
A Bundeslig 2012-2013, WBC Raiffeisen Wels: 14.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 20.2 PER, 26.5 MPG
TBL (Turkey) 2011-2012, Gelisim Koleji: 11.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 18.3 PER, 27.2 MPG
NCAA Division 1 2010-2011, Ohio University: 13.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 17.7 PER, 29.2 MPG
NCAA Division 1 Career, Ohio University: 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 14.9 PER, 21.2 MPG

TAKING HIS TALENTS TO…

devaughn

Washinton had arrived along with aforementioned Josh Warren. While Warren will be filling the defending champs Center position, Washinton will be serving as more of a power forward/scoring forward type.

While Washington doesn’t seem to be as freakishly athletic as Cadarian Raines (who held this role for the Vampires last year), he is still very long limbed.

Washington could work out as a go-to scorer type of import if Mono Vampires ever decide that they need him to be.

WHAT I WISH TO SEE

I think I should go around the entire arena on game day and make people try to spell out DeVaughn.


Lester alvarez

Credit Photo: www.pinoyexchange.com
Credit Photo: http://www.pinoyexchange.com
Background

There was some chatter about another certain talented Half-ASEAN with ABL experience who was supposed to play in the TBL as an ASEAN import, but one thing led to another and he was gone.

Phone calls were made, connections were pulled, and next thing you know, Filipino Lester Alvarez was coming on his way to Thailand.

Alvarez playing in the TBL solidifies Adamson University as a pipeline to the Thailand Basketball scene. Hitech Coach Jing Ruiz is of the Adamson coaching staff. Ex-Hitech import Jerick Canada was an ABL import for Hitech. Patrick Cabahug, Ken Bono, and now the list extends further with Alvarez.

In his last season at Adamson University, Alvarez was actually the starting point guard while Canada played back up. Alvarez ended up being drafted 15th overall in the second round to then Barako Bull Energy Cola. Since then, Alvarez has played sparingly (a combined 137 minutes over the past 4 years) and was traded to the San Mig Coffee Mixers as a part of that Grand Slam squad.

Since then he’s also played in the Philippines Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) alongside players like MX3 King’s Eric Salamat.

Stats

PCBL 2016, Euro-Med: 8.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 32.5 3P%
PBA 2015-2016, Star Hotshots: 0.9 minutes
PBA 2014-2015, Purefoods Hotshots: 0.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 2.4 MPG
PBA 2013-2014, San Mig Coffee Mixers: 3 minutes, 1 steal
PBA 2012-2013, Barako Bull Energy Cola: 1.8 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.4 APG, 7.1 MPG
UAAP 2011, Adamson University: 9.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 22.9 PER, 25.2 AST%

PCBL stats courtesy of Pong Ducanes (Twitter @ompongski)
PBA and UAAP stats courtesy of Humblebola

Taking his talents to…

lester

Thai General Equipment will be using the services of this Adamson alum. On paper, he should be a good fit for the team. The team is pretty loaded with offensive weapons with World Import Lenny Daniel, National Team player “Palm” Patipan Klahan, recovering star “Kanu” Wattana Suttisin, and up and coming center “Ohm” Chanathip Jukkrawan. Those are pretty decent targets to feed.

Not only that, Alvarez will also be able to mentor the young guards of the team. “Frankie” Kittitep Dasom has been touted as a guard to look out for and “Tae” Attapong Leelapipatkul is slowly crawling into the professional ranks.

While Alvarez might not have been Thai General Equiment’s first choice, he seems to be a pretty nice safely net.

What I wish to see

I honestly don’t know what to expect from Alvarez yet.


Jeff Viernes

Credit Photo: spin.ph
Credit Photo: spin.ph
BACKGROUND

When the hunt for ASEAN Imports in the TBL picked up after the SEABA Stankovic Cup, there was a name that continuously popped up.

“Aren’t you interested in Jeff Viernes?”
“Do you know Jeff Viernes?”
“I think Jeff Viernes is available.”

These were some of the responses I got when I asked around throughout my friendly Filipino connections. Jeff Viernes didn’t exactly ring a bell instantly, but it was familiar. After a bit more explanation and Googling, I found myself a little ashamed of not knowing who Viernes was.

Viernes’ recent resume lists back-to-back MVP awards as well as back-to-back champions in the first two conferences of the Philippines Commercial Basketball League (PCBL). The 27 year old was undrafted in 2013 when he came out of St. Claire College, but he’s since proven to be a solid talent in the newest minor league in the Philippines.

If you are questioning the competition level in the PCBL, remember that it has fielded the likes of Kiefer Ravena, Jiovanni Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer, among other familiar names. Acchieving back to back MVPs in that league isn’t something to be laughed at.

His performance might not have put him in the PBA (yet), but it’s gotten him over to Thailand in the TBL this season.

STATS

PCBL 2015-2016 Founder’s Cup, Jumbo Plastic: 13.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 100 +/-
PCBL 2015-2016 Chairman’s Cup, Jumbo Plastic: 16.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, 70 +/-

PCBL stats courtesy of Pong Ducanes (Twitter @ompongski)

TAKING HIS TALENTS TO…

jeff-viernes-020216

PEA played in their pocket tournament in Penang having yet signed Jeff Viernes and he would have helped them a lot. World Import Raymon Austin was left doing mostly everything while the young PEA team tried to keep up.

The team does have a lot of decent shooters, but they just needed a consistent ball handler who could also threaten the defense from long-range. Viernes answers that demand.

Viernes might be a bit small and he will be going up against athletic freaks like Freddie Goldstein and Avery Scharer (among others) but he’s proven that he’s a fighter that can over come the odds.

WHAT I WISH TO SEE

I want to see Jeff plays so goddamn well that he gets a call up to the PBA after the season ends. It would be such a glorious underdog story that would put the Thailand Basketball League on the PBA radar as well.


Magnum rolle

rolle

BACKGROUND

OH GOD LORD THIS IS SO GLORIOUS.

Magnum Rolle might possibly be the best name I have ever seen ever. Like EVER.

Aside from all of that nonsense stuff, Rolle is actually a pretty good basketball player. At least he was borderline NBA talent having been drafted to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 51st pick in the 2010 draft. From my experience following the ABL and TBL these past two years, that should be the highest draft pick to ever play (there was also Justin Williams who was undrafted but played for a couple of games).

Rolle seemed to have made it after he impressed in the offseason with the Indiana Pacers who he was traded to on draft day. He was pegged as one of the “steals of the draft” and coach Jim O’Brien even gushed about how good he was in practice.

Things didn’t end out as imagined and Rolle was waived before his rookie season started. Rolle then played in the D-League and played in preseason games before finally pursuing an overseas career. He has since played in Japan, Puerto Rico, and Israel.

In high school, Rolle was a highly touted prospect and given a 5 star ranking. He even played a solid 22 minutes in 2005 Jordan Brand Classic with players like Andrey Blatche, Andrew Bynum, Tyler Hansbrough, and Lou Williams. He grabbed 10 rebounds and scored 7 points.

After high school, Rolle first attended LSU. He would play sparingly on that legendary Final Four squad alongside Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Tyrus Thomas. Rolle transferred to Louisiana Tech, a school that also produced NBA power forwards like Karl Malone and Paul Milsap. He grabbed multiple awards playing at Louisiana Tech.

The 30-year old Bahamian will be playing in the TBL this season.

STATS

Israel BSL 2014-2015, Bnei Herzelia: 11.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 21.9 MPG
Puerto Rican BSN 2014-2015, Indios de Mayaguez: 9.8 PPG, 4.7 RPGm, 23.2 MPG
NBL Japan 2013-2014, Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins: 15.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 25.8 MPG
JBL 2012-2013, Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins: 14.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 21.9 MPG
NCAA Division 1 2009-2010, Louisiana Tech: 13.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.1 BLG, 22.3 PER

TAKING HIS TALENTS TO…

Maine Red Claws player Magnum Rolle, the team's first round draft pick from Louisana Tech should make a big impact on the team if he does not get called up.

The Madgoats are loading on serious talent and bringing in a lot of American swagger. Along with signing Dominic Dar (grew up in America) and picking up free agent Thai-American, Moses Morgan, the Madgoats have added a player who could possibly be the most touted player in ever in the TBL.

Reports from the Madgoats camp says that Rolle has been a beast, but we’ll have to leave that judgement for game day.

But just judging by physicality alone, Rolle should be quite a presence. Equipped with height and length, Rolle should make life hard for opposing teams to score against the Madgoats.

And guys, his name is Magnum Rolle. Magnum. Rolle. That’s a win for everyone.

WHAT I WISH TO SEE

I wish to see myself announcing his name for one game by saying “Magnum Rolle out!”.


Introduction
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

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8 thoughts on “TBL Preview: Imported Goods Part 4

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