Mario West, a former member of the Atlanta Hawks and the New Jersey Nets, will replace Meralco import Champ Oguchi.
Sheryl Reyes, the agent who represents West in the Philippines, confirmed the news to InterAKTV.
“He’s set to arrive tonight. At least three PBA teams were targeting Mario, but we decided to choose Meralco,” wrote Reyes in a text message. “Meralco wanted to keep Oguchi, but it all boiled down to winning.”
Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio said in an early interview that he will use Wednesday’s game against B-MEG to evaluate Oguchi. But after coming up with only 12 points and missing all his 10 attempts from the three-point region, it became clear that the former Nigerian national team member was on his way out.
West went undrafted in the NBA, but was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Hawks during the 2007-08 season. He spent three seasons with the Hawks, before joining the New Jersey Nets in 2010-11.
The NBA veteran will be the fourth import of the Bolts, who had problems with their first two recruits – Devin Green and Juan Patillo – both of whom exceeded the 6-foot-5 height limit prior to the start of the tournament.
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