Phoenix set sights on ex-Air21 import Zach Graham, NBA D-League vet Marcus Simmons

After foiled attempts to secure an import, the Phoenix Fuel Masters are still looking at another 2 candidates to boost their campaign in the PBA Governor’s Cup.

Debuting Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia revealed to FOX Sports that they are looking at former Air21 import Zach Graham and NBA D-League player Marcus Simmons as their reinforcement in the season-ending conference.

The Fuel Masters are expecting their American import to arrive Sunday at the latest.

Graham, who played for 2 years for the now defunct-Express squad, is coming off a Liga ACB stint in Spain while Simmons last played for Indiana Pacers’ D-League affiliate Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

“First option di natuloy, second option di rin natuloy,” said Vanguardia, referring to Trey Mckinnes-Jones and DeAndre Liggins, their top two choices who both backed out to play in another league.

Still, despite the uncertain status of their import, Vanguardia is off to a good start in his PBA coaching gig after pulling off a come-from-behind win over the Hotshots, 99-87, in a PBA Campus Tour event at the CEU Gym last Wednesday.

The ABL champion coach, though, quickly dismissed the victory.

“We have our Asian import so I think that is our edge today, that we have an extra guy that they don’t know,” he said, referring to Korean guard Lee Kwan Hee.

Vanguardia sees some resemblance of Phoenix to his former squad KL Dragon. He credited his current wards on the hardwork they put in especially in the fourth quarter where they rallied to steal the win.

“Happy naman ako sa effort, we won sa effort, yun lang talaga.” he closed. – By Jason Mercene 

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH

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