San Miguel tap Nets veteran Josh Boone; the final piece of the puzzle for the Beermen’s title bid in the Commissioner’s Cup

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The San Miguel Beermen definitely wants a title shot in the Commissioner’s Cup that kicks off on March 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Eyeing no less than a PBA crown, San Miguel Beer is bringing in a certified NBA veteran in former New Jersey Nets’ Oscar Joshua ‘Josh’ Boone.

Newly appointed head coach Biboy Ravanes confirmed San Miguel’s decision to sign Boone on Wednesday.

Boone will arrived over the weekend to join the Beermen in practice.

It was a bit surprising because in early reports it was said that the Beermen will tap another NBA veteran in DJ White, who played with Boston last season. But in turn they settled for Boone.

Although listed as 6-foot-10 in most online websites, Ravanes is confident the 29-year-old American center/forward could make the 6-foot-9 height limit allowed for teams that placed in the top eight of the season-opening Philippine Cup.

Ravanes also said the team has high hopes the well-built Boone will fit the bill as he tries to form an imposing frontline along with Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo and reigning league MVP Arwind Santos.

“Based sa usap namin ni coach Todd (Purves), we’re hoping that he could fit and work well with June Mar and Arwind. We hope mag-complement sila,” Ravanes told shortly after the team’s afternoon practice at the Acropolis gym in Libis, Quezon City.

Boone’s NBA Career

Boone, the 23rd overall pick by New Jersey in the NBA 2006 Annual Draft, played four seasons for the Nets. He was picked right behind former UConn teammate, Marcus Williams who was also selected by the Nets. During the 2006 Pepsi Pro Summer League in Orlando he led the league in rebounding (9 rpg) and was 2nd in blocked shots (1.67 bpg).

He averaged a career-high 8.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes during his sophomore season with the team.

A member of the University of Connecticut Huskies that won the 2004 US NCAA championship over Georgia Tech, Boone owned an NBA career average of 5.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 17.5 minutes through 256 games.

During the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 season, Boone would see fewer minutes with the Nets, in part due to his free throw shooting. His accuracy at the line continued to deteriorate, as he hit 37.6% in 2008-09 and 32.8% in 2009-10. Only one player in the league with at least ten attempts had a lower percentage, Andris Biedrins, who made four of twenty-five attempts.

After not being re-signed by the Nets, Boone also had stints with the Zheijang Golden Bulls in the Chinese Basketball Association with whom he would play for parts of three seasons.

On January 17, 2013, Boone signed with the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League.

On January 26, after he had played in only two games, it was announced that Boone would miss the rest of the 2012–13 season with a knee injury

The Balkman Meltdown

This will be the second straight season San Miguel (who was then Petron when the incident happened) will be bringing in a certified NBA veteran for its import.

In last season’s Commissioner’s Cup, the team brought in former New York Knicks ragged power forward Renaldo Balkman, who helped the team to a fast 5-0 start.

Balkman though went wild near the end of Petron’s elimination round loss to Alaska, which subsequently prompted league commissioner Chito Salud to ban the former NBA veteran for life.

The Boosters eventually finished sixth in the mid-season conference under rookie coach Olsen Racela.

Fajardo’s Emergence

Expect San Miguel to rely anew on behemoth Junemar Fajardo next conference despite the conference is import-laden.

Fajardo was declared the Best Player of the Conference last conference.
While the reigning MVP and incumbent power forward Arwind Santos will provide ample supports on Fajardo, which is the new cornerstone of the team.
There combination will be vital in the inside along side Boone where we might see Santos playing the starting small forward spot.
The backcourt will have new guard Mercado, and sprojected starting point guard Chris Ross. San Mig might play Mercado as the starting shooting guard while hot-shooting Marcio Lassiter will back Santos at the small forward. Guard Chris Lutz is expected to be the primary reliever to Mercado.
Ravales hopes on the new acquisations
Coach Ravanes has high hopes that new acquisitions Solomon Mercado and Rico Maierhofer can help turn around a star-studded franchise that has underachieved over the last seven conferences.

Only one week since assuming the head coaching post, Ravanes said the atmosphere was positive in practice and the energy high as everybody welcomed the entry of Mercado and Maierhofer, who came in via seven-player, four-team trade that saw he Beermen let go of starting guard Alex Cabagnot.

“I saw a lot of positive things during our first week of practice, parang it’s some sort of like revival na nangyayari sa team kahit na may dalawang bago kami. Parang bagong spirit ang nasa team,” Ravanes confided to

The Beermen took a day off on Tuesday to travel to Tagaytay for some team bonding at the rest house of San Miguel Corp. basketball operations head Robert Non.

“Team bonding lang muna kami. Siyempre may mga ilang bago din kami sa team,” added Ravanes, who succeeded Gee Abanilla.

Abanilla was promoted to team manager, while American consultant Todd Purves will be taking a more active role in helping Ravanes starting in the Commissioner’s Cup.

Ravanes said the coaching staff has been finding ways to adjust the team’s mode of attack, weeks after the disappointing Philippine Cup semifinal series loss to Rain or Shine.

“The coaches made some brainstorming recently and made the decision to change some things. Kasi yung hinahanap namin, eh yung ways na di sana kami kakapusin,” explained the longtime San Miguel assistant coach and noted defensive wizard during his playing days.

“Tingin namin with Sol and Rico, pupunan nila yung department na kulang namin. Kasi si Sol, yung style niya, we feel babagay sa team namin tapos si Rico can add depth sa bench,” he added.

— with reports from

Ed Umbao

Founder of | co-Founder of

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