Basketball

NBA vets to reinforce Rain or Shine, Meralco in Commissioner’s Cup

Rain or Shine and Meralco are in talks with players with significant NBA experience for the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup, which imposes no height limits for reinforcements.

The Elasto Painters, who fell a game short of reaching the championship round for the first time in franchise history in the Philippine Cup, is likely to parade Jake Voskuhl, a former starting center of the Phoenix Suns.

Rain or Shine governor Mamerto Mondragon told InterAKTV that the team is in the finishing stages of a deal with the 34-year-old, 6-foot-11 slotman.

“We’ve already sent him a contract offer,” said Mondragon. “Medyo may inaayos na lang na maliliit na bagay, pero malaki ang tsansa na makakalaro siya for us.”

Voskuhl, a rugged role player in the NBA, played nine years in the big league. Apart from the Suns, he also saw action for the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, and Toronto Raptors.

Rain or Shine assistant Caloy Garcia said Voskuhl was one of two choices for the team along with Earl Barron, another NBA veteran who played for Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao at Red Bull in 2005. Barron recently signed a deal with the Golden State Warriors.

Meralco, meanwhile, is tapping veteran center Jelani McCoy. A second round draft pick of Seattle in 1998, McCoy spent eight years in the NBA for the Supersonics, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, and Denver Nuggets.

Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio chose McCoy over several other prospects from the NBA D-League. The coach traveled to Los Angeles earlier this month to scout players in the D-League showcase in Los Angeles.

“There are a lot of good players, but not worth it if you’ll make a buyout,” he said. “[Buying out] Class A players in the D-League is worth $45,000, Class B is around $35,000 and you have to give them a contract offer aside from the buyout. McCoy looks fine and he’s an NBA veteran.”

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