Globalport’s big surprise

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

Globalport has brought in Calvin Warner to replace C. J. Leslie as its import for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and the Batang Pier’s PBA governor Erick Arejola said yesterday he was surprised to find out the former Eastern Michigan and Jacksonville player was shorter than advertised.

“The agent told us Warner is 6-7 1/2 so we got the shock of our lives when he was measured only 6-5 by the PBA,” said Arejola. In fact, the official PBA sizing was a fraction less than 6-5 at 6-4 15/16. Excluding Marqus Blakely who was Purefoods’ interim import, Warner will be the shortest import in the league. Blakely filled in for 6-9 Daniel Orton while he played out his contract in China and recovered from a hand injury. Orton will make his Hotshots debut against NLEX tonight.

Arejola, however, said Globalport will definitely suit up Warner in its next game against Meralco on Sunday. Warner would’ve played against Alaska last night but Globalport failed to secure his release from his last team in Jordan within the prescribed 24-hour period before the game. Leslie agreed to play his farewell outing instead.

While Arejola confirmed Warner will play on Sunday, he didn’t rule out another replacement in case things don’t work out. “Yes, we have a backup plan but right now, we’re going with Warner,” he said. “He’s a post player and that’s what we need. He’s got a wide body. From what I’m told, he plays like Talk ‘N’ Text import Richard Howell.”

Leslie was measured 6-8 flat. While he’s three inches taller than Warner, their weight difference is major. Leslie tips the scales at 210 while Warner checks in at 240. That bulk is critical in establishing a post presence. Another major difference between the imports is their age. Leslie is only 23 while Warner is 34.

In Leslie’s first three games, he averaged 29 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.7 blocked shots, 1.3 steals and 36.3 minutes. Globalport beat Kia, 100-89, in Leslie’s debut last Jan. 27. He had 33 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists. Then, the Batang Pier lost to Purefoods, 83-70, and Rain Or Shine, 104-98. The defeat to the Elasto Painters sealed Leslie’s fate. He hit 22 points in the first half then shot only two in the third period, playing listlessly. It was like Leslie’s motor suddenly shut down. Globalport coach Eric Gonzales benched Leslie starting the fourth quarter and didn’t send him back in until the last five minutes.

Whether Warner will be a more effective import or not is a question mark. But it’s a gamble that Globalport is willing to take. If it’s any indication, Warner’s collegiate background is solid.  He played two years at Eastern Michigan, the same school that produced NBA/ABA star George (Iceman) Gervin, Earl Boykins, Fred Cofield, Grant Long, Derrick Dial and Purefoods center Mick Pennisi. Warner also played two years at Jacksonville University where Artis Gilmore, Dee Brown, Rex Morgan and Otis Smith saw action. In every collegiate season, Warner averaged in double figure points from 10.7 as a freshman to 14.6 as a sophomore to 13.7 as a junior to 16.9 as a senior.

College basketball writer Mike Ashley described Warner as “a natural low post player with great mobility and ability to pop out and shoot from 15 feet.” Another beat writer Alan Taylor said after transferring from Eastern Michigan, Warner stepped in to become Jacksonville’s best post player. Taylor called Warner “an explosive leaper” and said, “besides working well on the block, he has shown he can play facing the basket, sinking 15 three-pointers (in 2001-02), (making) it even more difficult for opposing big men to guard him.” A scouting report in eurobasket.com had this report on Warner: “A low post player who is a solid jump shooter, has also worked on expanding his outside game, can put the ball on the floor and create shots, his excellent hands and a quick, explosive leaping ability make him a good rebounder.”

In his senior year at Jacksonville, Warner was the varsity’s leading scorer and rebounder. He ended his collegiate career hitting 53.6 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from beyond the arc and 70.3 percent from the line.

From Jacksonville, Warner went overseas and had stints in Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Bahrain, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Qatar and Jordan. The North Carolina native has played as a naturalized citizen for Lebanon. In 2014, he averaged 13.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 29 games for Guerreros in the Colombian league.

In other import news, Rain Or Shine’s Rick Jackson is the only reinforcement in town who flew in with a companion, according to the Elasto Painters team manager Boy Lapid. Jackson stays in an Eastwood condo with girlfriend Ashley Kilpatrick. “Okay naman makisama si Rick,” said Lapid. “He gets along with his teammates.” A Rain Or Shine teammate Chris Tiu said Jackson is a solid defender and rebounder. “He doesn’t force his shots and knows how to play decoy to set up his teammates,” said Tiu. “He’s got a nice touch around the rim, especially the floater.” For a third pick after Rain Or Shine couldn’t sign up Wayne Chism and Kenny Adeleke, Jackson is proving to be quite a find.

vuukle comment











  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with