Apr 13, 2021

Remember the Asian imports?

REMEMBER the time when the PBA spread its arms to welcome Asian imports?

The memories came back to mind as PBA legend Jimmy Alapag posted on his Facebook page a photo of what could be a chance meeting with former Talk N' Text Asian reinforcement Sam Daghles in the United States.

"It's not just the wins and losses in this game, but the relationships you build thru the years. Great catching up with my brother @samd today. Your success inspires me to keep going," Alapag captioned the photo.

The two great Asian players had had their battles in the regional meet and briefly in the PBA when Daghles was among continental imports signed to play in the 2015 PBA Governors Cup.

Barangay Ginebra brought in Korean Kim Jiwan, GlobalPort enlisted Palestine Omar Krayem, Kia tapped in Taiwanese Chang Tsung-hsien, Meralco recruited Japanese Seiya Ando and NLEX acquired Syrian hotshot Michael Madanly.

Sponsored content:
Curiously, two teams that opted not to field an Asian import clashed in the finale with the Arizona Reid-led San Miguel Beer topping the Romeo Travis-powered Alaska Milk side.

But the Asian reinforcements did leave imprints in the tourney.

There's Daghles who averaged 10.45 points, 5.64 rebounds and 4.27 assists with the Texters, who however were saddled by injuries and failed to make the playoffs.

The 6-foot-3 guard was a blue-chip Asian import known to Filipinos back from his stint with the Jordan national team in Asian meets.

Daghles stuck the dagger in Team Phl's heart in their encounters in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship in Tokushima, Japan and in the 2011 Asian joust in Wuhan, China.

Sponsored content:
Alapag, 43, and Daghles, 41, have known each other from their college days in the US. The former suited up with Cal State San Bernardino while the latter strutted his stuff for San Diego Mesa then with Midwestern State.
Both have shifted to coaching.

Daghles had handled the Jordan national team and is now serving as assistant coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. (SB)