As Mighty Sports will be the club team representing the Philippines once more in the 2016 Merlion Cup in Singapore, the tag “import-laden” can now be put to rest.
The team’s composition this time is a far cry from the team that competed and swept the 38th William Jones Cup, wherein seven imports featured.
Mighty Sports’ roster for the upcoming tournament will still showcase a handful of foreign players, but this time, the team is mostly made up of local players from the amateur and pro ranks.
The Merlion Cup rules only allow three imports per team, which is why Mighty Sports opted to field in three foreigners that had played and had an outstanding showing in the 38th William Jones Cup last July.
Imports leading the charge for the defending Jones Cup champions will be holdovers such as former NLEX import Al Thornton, Jones Cup MVP Dewarick Spencer, and 7’1″ Senegalese Hamady N’Diaye.
Another key addition to the team is former Gilas Pilipinas reinforcement and naturalized Filipino Marcus Douthit, who is now 36-years-old.
The locals in the 14-man squad will be bannered by Ateneo alumnus and UAAP MVP Kiefer Ravena, who is currently attending tryouts in the NBA DLeague.
Veteran presence among the locals will also be seen as PBA veterans and De La Salle University teammates Joseph Yeo and TY Tang are also enlisted to the lineup.
Fil-foreigners Matthew Wright, Jason Brickman, and Jason Deutchman have also been thrown into the mix to add more size and depth to the roster.
Completing the lineup are former University of the Philippines star Edrick Ferrer, brothers Raphael and Gab Banal, and National University alumnus Gelo Alolino.
The team will be coached by Charles Tiu, who is the brother of Rain or Shine Elasto Painter’s Chris Tiu.
Five other teams are also competing in the Merlion Cup. The Shanghai Sharks, Westports Malaysia Dragons, Kinmen Kaoloang Liquor, Seoul Samsung Thunders, and host team Singapore Slingers are also in the quest for the title.
The defending Jones Cup titlists seek to follow up their dominant sweep of the Taiwan-hosted tournament with another title run in the Singaporean-based cagefest, which was last won by Aspac Texmaco-Indonesia back in 1996.