Meet the imports for PBA's reinforced conference (Part 2)

Meet the imports for PBA's reinforced conference (Part 2)

By Justin Mhar de Jesus

MANILA—As the reinforced conference of the PBA Season 46 draws near, all eyes have shifted towards the recruitment of imports by different squads.

Seven teams have opted to bring in familiar faces, while the other five will try to make a fresh start with a newcomer to mark the return of an import-spiced tournament in the league for the first time since 2019.

By all accounts, we made a brief profiler for each import that will take the center stage for the second conference.

Here are the next six imports confirmed for the second conference.

[For the first part, you can check it out here: Meet the imports for PBA's reinforced conference (Part 1)]

NorthPort - Cameron Forte

Fresh from leading Jordan in the King Abdullah Cup, Cameron Forte is making his way to the Philippines to suit up for the Batang Pier. JBF (file photo)
After torching Gilas Pilipinas in the recent King Abdullah Cup in Amman, the Jordanian naturalized player is set to arrive on the archipelago to bring the same intensity for the Batang Pier. 

The lefty Forte, whose burly frame is expected to strengthen the NorthPort frontcourt that already boasts Greg Slaughter and Troy Rike, last played in the Fraser Valley Bandits in the CEBL averaging 21.8 ppg and 9.0 rpg. 

At 28 years old, he stands as the youngest import in the pool. However, it does not equate to his resume as a journeyman, spending his collegiate career in three different schools, and having played in Taiwan, Mexico, Hungary, Kosovo, and Iceland. 

Phoenix - Paul Harris

Paul Harris makes a PBA return after five years, this time with Phoenix. PBA Images (file photo)
Fresh off an underwhelming Philippine Cup where they failed to make the playoffs, Phoenix has set its sights on a proven winner in Paul Harris. 

Following his abrupt run with Barangay Ginebra in 2016 due to an open fracture on his thumb, the 35-year-old 2011 PBA Commissioner’s Cup champion bounced around Europe for the next three years, playing in the domestic leagues of Italy, Turkey, and France. 

Rain or Shine - Henry Walker

Henry Walker will now join the Elasto Painters for the reinforced conference. Mike Romero (file photo)
Since setting foot on the second oldest basketball league in the world playing for Alaska in 2014, the Kansas State product has already earned a tremendous amount of experience in the Philippines and overseas.

At 34, Walker’s scoring prowess will be a key addition to a defensive-minded team like Rain or Shine. He recently had stints for Japan B. League’s Shiga Lakestars in 2020 and for Club La Cancha in Venezuela. 

San Miguel - Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown will now be suiting up for the Beermen. PBA Images (file photo)
Similar to its sister teams Magnolia and Brgy. Ginebra, San Miguel has opted to acquire a tried and tested import by inking Brandon Brown to a deal.

The 36-year-old forward previously suited up for Phoenix in 2017, where his scoring prowess quickly became evident, highlighted by his 49-point explosion in a 103-110 loss against TNT.

He is expected to carry that impact over to an already loaded Beermen side that aims to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss in the Philippine Cup semis against Tropang Giga in seven games.

TNT - McKenzie Moore

McKenzie Moore finally gets some PBA basketball after suiting up for the Tropang Giga in the EASL. PBA Images (file photo)
McKenzie Moore may have never stepped on a PBA hardwood yet, but he has already become a staple in Philippine basketball, most especially after helping Mighty Sports bring home the 2019 William Jones Cup.

Familiarity with the team will also not be an issue as the 29-year-old slasher out of UTEP has already suited up for TNT years back when the team participated in the East Asia Super League Terrific 12.

He was also teammates with Philippine Cup Finals MVP Mikey Williams for Mighty Sports when they captured the Jones Cup crown in Taiwan.

Moore most recently played for the Ironi Nahariya of the Israeli Premier League this year.

Terrafirma - Antonio Hester

Antonio Hester is someone to watch out this year's PBA Governors' Cup.
In the field of 12 imports, Antonio Hester’s name may be included in the bracket of lesser known prospects.

However, his name surely belongs to the circle of winners, having won the Spanish second-tier league LEB Catalan Finals MVP in the 2014 season for the CB Tarragona. In that same year, he also helped Real Club de Lima capture the Peruvian Championship.

Four years later, he averaged 20.6 points and 8.7 rebounds in 25.3 minutes of playing time to guide Tindastoll to its first major title when they conquered the Icelandic Basketball Cup.

Hester is expected to bring maturity and stability to a relentless Terrafirma side that has shown glimpses of potential last conference, winning four of their 11 games, including convincing victories against the heavily favored squads of San Miguel and Brgy. Ginebra.

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