Robert Dozier won’t be suiting up for Alaska this time.
The former best import who led the Aces to a championship two seasons ago couldn’t get a release from his current team in Dubai, according to team manager Dickie Bachmann.
Dozier played against the NLEX Road Warriors, the Philippines’ representative to the Dubai International Tournament.
That left the Aces no choice but to look for other options, and Sean Chambers, Alaska’s former import who now works as an agent in the US, recommended DJ Covington.
The 23-year-old Covington will be playing in just his second overseas tournament. He graduated last year from the Virginia Military Institute where he emerged as a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the Big South Division of the US NCAA. He’s also fresh off a stint in Belgium.
Covington watched the Aces win Game 6 of the finals against the San Miguel Beermen in come-from-behind fashion and admitted that he liked what he saw.
“I’m excited. We have a really good team. I feel my athleticism will help the team that has a lot already,” said Covington.
Listed 6-foot-9 and known to be a stopper, Covington looks forward to playing in front of basketball-crazy fans.
“It’s a really good league, very competitive and a lot of local support. It’s a great atmosphere to play and I love it. I’ve heard it’s a basketball country. It’s nice to be around here,” he added.
Like Alaska, Rain or Shine was also hoping to recall its previous reinforcement, Wayne Chism, who couldn’t get a release from his team from Israel.
This forced the hand of the coaching staff to tap Rick Jackson, a 6-foot-9 forward who played for the Syracuse Orangemen a few years ago.