Saturday, 16 April 2011

Alpha Bangura: PBA Commissioner's Cup Best Import?

Posted by chardyboy on Saturday, April 16, 2011 0 comments


MANILA, Philippines – The PBA Commissioner’s Cup is still in the semi-final stages but this early, the best import to play in the current conference comes to mind. And at this stage, only three reinforcements come into mind: Paul Harris of Talk ‘N Text, Nate Brumfield of Barangay Ginebra and Alpha Bangura of the Air21 Express.

Harris and Brumfield have been around since day 1 of the Commissioner’s Cup while Bangura entered the fray at about the same time that the Express got their new superstar recruits, Dondon Hontiveros, Danny Seigle, Dorian Pena and Paul Artadi.

Bangura replaced the ineffective Jeremy Robinson, who may have only gained attention when Air21 defeated the mighty San Miguel Beermen way back on February 25.

And ever since then, Bangura is as good as they say he is. He has played for the Libyan national team and played NCAA basketball for St. John’s University. He has also had stints in the CBA, the USBL  and has been known to travel the world to play hard ball. Curiously, the 31 year old hoopster goes by another name, Alfath Belgasem. (Wikipedia)

Even Marcus Douthit knew who Bangura was the moment he stepped on Philippine soil. Douthit together with the Smart Gilas team already played against Douthit when he was still playing for Libya and was hence looking forward to meeting him once more and this happened on his very first game. Smart Gilas won that one in their game last March 9, 102-99.

Prior to Bangura’s arrival, it seemed that the best import award would be contested by only 2, Nate Brumfield and Paul Harris. But the explosion and mastery that Bangura showed in towing the Air21 Express to the semi-finals is simply remarkable and hard to ignore. Given the chance, it is now a three-way race to the Best Import of the Conference award and while no figures have been bared, Alpha Bangura has obviously overtaken Brumfield and Harris.

However, if the Express falter, all this may no longer matter. As we have seen in the past conferences, imports (unless of course very much exceptional like Tony Harris or Billy Ray Bates) playing in the finals are normally the ones who would end up being adjudged the best import.

This means that either Paul Harris or Nate Brumfield (assuming they advance to the PBA finals) will still be the two reinforcements battling for the Best Import plum. But if Air21 advances, you can bet that he may very well be the hands-down choice based on statistics and certainly on votes.

While this may not matter at the moment since the reinforcements are busy trying to bring their team to the finals, Bangura’s chances of being the best import will depend on Air21’s chances of entering the finals.

Bangura has woven his magic in the quarterfinals against the Alaska Aces and if he does it again against the Tropang Texters, there is no doubt he deserves the award.

And if Air21 does fall short, there is still the next conference for the rising Express. They are allowed an import of 6’4 based on their team’s performance and for sure, they don’t need to look further for another import unless the “Alpha Mail” has other commitments to play abroad.


0 Responses so far:

Leave a Reply