2014 PBA Commish Cup Import Lowdown: Robert Dozier & Evan Brock

Now that the 2014 Philippine Cup has been handed to the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers, the attention of all ten (soon to be twelve?) teams is going to be diverted to the season’s second conference — the Commissioner’s Cup. The unique feature of this conference, of course, is that teams are allowed to employ “big” imports. This is in contrast to the third conference, or the Governors’ Cup, where teams are allowed only the services of “small” imports. 

In this particular conference, unlike in the Commissioner’s Cups of 2012 and 2013, there will be a height limit imposed on the teams’ imports, and this limit is based on how well each team fared in the previous conference. Because they finished in the bottom two spots of the team standings, the Air 21 Express and the Meralco Bolts have the luxury to choose imports who can be as tall as 6’11 (around 210cm), while the rest of the field can employ imports who are, at most, 6’9 (around 205cm).

I’m here to look at the ten imports who will show their wares in the 2014 Commish Cup. Traditionally, PBA teams rely heavily on their imports for practically everything, from scoring, to rebounding, to defending, and, in some cases, even playmaking. The expectations are extremely high (which explains their skyrocketing salaries), and the pressure can really take its toll.

In this second part of this series, we will look at the imports of both Alaska and GlobalPort. These are, respectively, Robert Dozier, the Best Import of the 2013 Commish Cup and Evan Brock, formerly of the Barako Bull Energy Cola.


Rob Dozier and Evan Brock return to the PBA for the 2014 Commish Cup.
(composite image by Enzo Flojo/HoopNut)


Alaska import: Robert Lorenzo Dozier, Jr. 
Home country: USA (some sources, however, indicate that he has a French passport, too)
Born: Nov. 6, 1985 in Georgia, USA (28 y.o.)
Listed height: 6’9 (206cm)
US College: University of Memphis 
NBA Draft: 2009 — 60th pick 
Has played in: NBA, Greece, France, and Spain
Last played for: The Alaska Aces in the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup
Averages: 20.1ppg, 17.6rpg, 2.5apg, 2.9bpg, .531 FG%, 52.5 EFF

Notes:
The Best Import of the 2013 PBA Commish Cup is back in Alaska’s fold and ready to defend the title. Interestingly, Dozier didn’t really play anywhere else after leading Alaska to a sweep of the Ginebra Gin Kings in last year’s Commish Cup Finals. It means he’s fresh and healthy for the grueling campaign ahead, but it could also mean he’s a little rusty. 

His numbers from his previous tour of duty here in Manila speak for themselves. Though he wasn’t the most versatile offensive force out there, he still managed to toss in more than 20 points per game, mainly because he had a penchant for getting those offensive boards (nearly 6 a game) and getting to easy spots around the basket. He’s pretty quick for a guy his size, and his athleticism makes him extra dangerous for those stick-backs on the offensive glass.

Another great thing about Dozier his he is the perfect complement to an already loaded Alaska quintet. Because Dozier fills the middle so well, Sonny Thoss slides down to 4, which is his natural position anyway. This also enables Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio, and DonDon Hontiveros to alternate at the wings, where they are extremely effective. Abueva doesn’t have to play out of position too much, while Baguio can overpower smaller two-guards, and Hontiveros can space the floor well.

Of course, there’s also JV Casio, who benefits a lot from having a big guy as efficient as Dozier hogging all the defensive attention. I expect JV to hoist more threes this conference, and to make them, too.


Rob Dozier gets around SMC's Marc Pingris.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/AKTV)


GlobalPort Batang Pier import: Evan Brock
Home country: USA
Born: April 19, 1984 in Georgia, USA (29 y.o.)
Listed height: 6’9 (204cm)
US College: University of Alabama
NBA Draft: 2006 - Undrafted
Has played in: Venezuela, Korea, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, ABL, and Bahrain
Last played for: Issa Town in the Bahrain Premier League (he left for the PBA and was replaced by Brandon Cole)
Averages in the 2013 PBA Commish Cup: 21.2ppg, 16.0rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5spg, 1.4bpg, .517 FG%, 50.0 EFF

Notes:
The highlight of Brock’s international career so far has been winning the 2012 Air Asia ASEAN Basketball League title with the Indonesia Warriors. The Warriors upended the San Miguel Beermen in three games two years ago, giving the Indon franchise its biggest title yet.

That elevated Brock’s stock, which enabled him to enter the PBA as an import for the Barako Bull Energy Cola in 2013. He did pretty well, considering he was one of the smaller imports at just 204 cm. He was one of the more athletic and mobile ones, though, often preferring to play face up than like a traditional back-to-the-basket big man. His being a lefty also helped confound opposing defenders who had to make extra adjustments against this University of Alabama alum.

He averaged a nice double-double for Barako Bull last season, even leading the Energy Cola to a nice 3-1 start. Things unraveled for the team after that, though, and they lost six straight before repeating over San Mig Coffee, 105-100. Brock did well in that game, dropping 25 points, but he still found himself replaced by Barako Bull after they went 4-7. The franchise’s import replacement was former LA Laker DJ Mbenga, who led the Energy Cola to a 1-2 slate in their last three contests. 

Noe Brock is back and with a different team, too. Unlike last season when he could moonlight at the 4 and have Mick Pennisi play the middle, this time around Brock will really be the main force in the middle for the Batang Pier. This should make the team one of the most mobile out there, what with Jay Washington, Marvin Hayes, Terrence Romeo, and Alex Cabagnot expected to complete GlobalPort’s starting/best five.

There is nowhere to go but up for the Mikee Romero-owned franchise, as they finished with a conference-worst 2-12 record last season. They went through three inconsistent imports — Justin Williams, Walter Sharpe, and Sylvester Morgan. Needless to say, new coach Pido Jarencio is hoping Brock can bring tons of energy to the roster so they can surprise their more ballyhooed opponents.


Evan Brock tries to drive past Vernon Macklin.
(image by Paolo Papa/AKTV)

In the next post, we will discuss two new imports — Barako Bull’s Josh Dollard and San Mig Coffee’s James Mays.


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Air 21 Express import: Robert Lorenzo Dozier, Jr.

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