Josh Powell out, Gabe Freeman in as Ginebra Import

After just two games, Barangay Ginebra was abandoned by import Josh Powell in the ongoing PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup.

The Gin Kings will have former PBA Best Import awardee Gabe Freeman as a replacement for Powell and hopes that he could salvage its campaign in this short tournament.

Freeman's Arrival

The 6-foot-6 Freeman, according to sources, will arrive from the US on Wednesday morning to take the place of the highly touted Powell.

Powell decided to leave Ginebra on Sunday after getting an offer to make the Houston Rockets' roster in time for the NBA Playoffs.

That should give Freeman enough time to process his papers and acclimatize in time for his debut on Sunday against Rain or Shine in a game which will determine the Gin Kings' pairing in the quarterfinal playoffs.

Ginebra not able to find another replacement

On Sunday, Ginebra governor Robert Non said management is looking to bring in either Andre Emmett or Charles Thomas, but both apparently are not available to come in on short notice.

Insiders said Ginebra also considered bringing back Dior Lowhorn, the team's import in last year's Governors Cup, but the wide-bodied import couldn't break loose from his contract in Japan.

Freeman, 28, won two Best Import awards while playing for San Miguel Beer in 2009 and 2010 and was known for his explosive scoring highlighted by his great penetration with a respective outside shooting.

He also had a stellar stint with the Philippine Patriots in the Asean Basketball League and had a short stint wit San Miguel Beermen last year in the same league.

Freeman was the first option to replace Rodgers

Freeman's name was first floated around when Ginebra was searching for a replacement for then import Leon Rodgers. However, word got around then that the import was out of shape.

Even if Freeman arrives on schedule on Wednesday morning, Ginebra will have to race against time to secure his license since Games and Amusement Board officials have already sent out a memo informing the public that will only be open for half a day on Wednesday.

“Yun ang worry namin. Paano kung biglang mag half day ang mga opisina sa Miyerkules? Hindi makakalaro ang import sa Linggo. Multa yun. Saka kailangan naming manalo para sa seeding,” said a source.

If Freeman will be the import of Ginebra, it will also means that the Gin Kings will play Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar more on the same time with Freeman taking the small forward position.

--- with reports from

Josh Powell out, Gabe Freeman in as Ginebra Import Josh Powell out, Gabe Freeman in as Ginebra Import Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 4/14/2014 Rating: 5

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