Tropang TNT settle with David Simon to replace Ivan Johnson

After their earlier prospects did not pan out, the Tropang TNT will be trying out David  Simon as a replacement to banned import Ivan Johnson.

Tropang TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio said Simon’s incoming stint with the team is not final pending his performance with the reigning PBA Commissioner’s Cup champions in the Commissioner’s Cup.

Simon, who is expected to arrive on Monday morning, has been enlisted on Friday to replace the mercurial Johnson.

“Nasa 3rd or 4th choice na namin siya (Simon), but it depends, because if he can give us the win, why not?” Villavicencio told FOX Sports on Saturday.

Read: Tropang TNT non-committal on Johnson’s return after one-season ban

Listed at 6-9, Simon will be finishing his stint with the Seoul SK Knights on Saturday in the Korean Basketball League.

The former Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne standout is averaging 20.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists with the Knights, who as of posting time, occupy the 9th spot in the 10-team field with their 19-34 record.

Villavicencio said the 33-year-old Simon is a noted shot blocker, who at his age, still has the athleticism.

Read: Undermanned Tropang TNT activate rookie Troy Rosario

Meantime, TNT coach Jong Uichico said they can’t be choosy on which import to tap at this point due to the tight competition for players.

Outside the PBA’s ongoing tournament, players from the NBA D-League are also awaiting for possible call-up in the NBA, while Asian leagues from China and Korea are also ongoing at present.

“At this point, you can’t be that choosy and no player will be a perfect fit so we just have to see who is the best available talent,” said Uichico. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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