Joshua Smith will be arriving in the Philippines on May 25 to form his much-awaited reunion with the TNT Katropa, team manager Virgil Villavicencio confirmed to reporters on Friday night.
“He’s coming on the 25th,” said the amiable executive moments after the Katropa — with an all-Filipino crew — took care of business by dismantling the Blackwater Elite, 120-101.
The arrival of the stocky 6-foot-10 has set up his 2018 Commissioner’s Cup debut on June 1, when TNT battle the surging Columbian Dyip at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Villavicencio shared that Smith was supposed to arrive earlier this May, but his commitment with club team Kyoto Hannaryz in the Japanese B-League forbade him from doing so.
“We wanted him to get here on the 16th, but he had to be with his team for their outreach programs,” he said.
“He can actually come here for a day and go back there, but he said it might be difficult.”
Still, the Katropa are optimistic about Smith’s return. The last time he was in the PBA was rather memorable, as he helped the Texters get to the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
And that is what team veteran Troy Rosario hopes to happen as the American serves another tour of duty.
“Sana mangyari uli yung nagawa nya nung last time na nandito sya which is umabot kami sa finals. hoping maging healthy siya,” said the six-foot-seven Rosario.