2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup Teams Power RankingsSAN MIGUEL BEERMEN
Despite the possibility of having another slow start following another title run in the Philippine Cup, the Beermen are expected to be the team to beat with their deep lineup powered by June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Finals MVP Chris Ross. Long-time Korean import Charles Rhodes is being envisioned as someone who can form a twin tower combination with Fajardo.
The KaTropa are left without an import after deciding to send home former Best Import Denzel Bowles. TNT looks to carry on the progress it made in the Philippine Cup when it pushed the eventual champion San Miguel Beermen to the limit despite having a young mentor in Nash Racela.
Cory Jefferson is now Alaska’s import after the sudden departure of Octavius Ellis. Should Jefferson be the right import for the job, expect the Aces to be among the top contenders with their locals led by Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, Chris Banchero and new acquisition Simon Enciso still formidable on both ends.
Star may have found a serviceable import in Tony Mitchell, who is perhaps the most explosive among the current batch of imports based on his clips playing overseas, the NBA D-League and with the Detroit Pistons. Paul Lee’s injury, however, may affect the Hotshots in the early goings of the tournament.
RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
The Elasto Painters are not only eager to retain the Commissioner’s Cup title, but also erase their disastrous performance in the Philippine Cup when a four-game losing skid almost cost them a playoff berth. Former Globalport import Sean Taggart tries to provide the offensive spark the team needs.
BARANGAY GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL
Ginebra hopes to make another title run with the return of Justin Brownlee, whose buzzer-beating three gave the Gin Kings their first PBA title in eight years during last season’s Governors’ Cup. It may also be a disadvantage for Ginebra, which will have to play without a legitimate big man with Greg Slaughter still out with an injury.
The Bolts were a disappointment last conference but are poised for a recovery in the first of two import-laced tournaments. Former NBA D-Leaguer Alex Stepheson tries to follow what Best Imports Arinze Onuaku and Allen Durham did last season when they led Meralco to the playoffs in the Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cup, respectively.
GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER
The Batang Pier are banking on former New Jersey Net Sean Williams’ strength in the middle to compliment their strong backcourt led by Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle. Romeo is also aiming to build on his strong Philippine Cup where he led the league in scoring and finished second in the Best Player of the Conference race.
PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS
Stand-in import Eugene Phelps looks to give Phoenix a strong start to set the tone for its quest to reach past the quarterfinals. New acquisition RJ Jazul hopes to provide local stability for the Fuel Masters.
NLEX ROAD WARRIORS
Wayne Chism is back for a third stint in the PBA, reuniting with coach Yeng Guiao after two seasons with Rain or Shine. After a disastrous Philippine Cup, the Road Warriors look to finally have the winning formula under the fiery mentor.
The Elite added some NBA experience to their in Greg Smith, who was a role player for the Houston Rockets several years earlier. Though surrounded by young talent, the team is still searching its true identity as it begins another playoff bid.
James White returns for another tour of duty with Mahindra, hoping to lead the franchise to a second playoff appearance. However, the Floodbuster may encounter another rough campaign after going 3-8 in the Philippine Cup.
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