Banal: Phoenix import to bring size, rebounding

Weeks of search finally ended for Phoenix after enlisting the services of Nigerian journeyman Kenny Adeleke as its import for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Coach Koy Banal said the 6-foot-9 Adeleke can easily provide the solid inside presence Phoenix needs, considering that his team has a guard-heavy roster.

“Kenny is part of my short list. Our other choices didn’t work out, but he’s more of an inside player and hopefully, we could address our rebounding problem,” Banal told FOX Sports on Wednesday.

Phoenix, which just bought the former Barako Bull franchise recently, is short in its front court since outside the 40-year-old Mick Pennisi, the Accelerators’ next big men are Willy Wilson and Rodney Brondial, who are both undersized big men.

Wilson led Barako Bull in the Philippine Cup with his career-high 12.2 rebounds per contest, while the sophomore Brondial pulled down 8.0 boards.

“Now that we have a solid man in the midde, we hope he could bring that good defensive and rebounding presence for us,” added Banal, whose import is set to arrive on Saturday.

Adeleke, who turns 33 next week, is fresh from a stint with the Institute Atletico Central Cordoba in Argentina.

The Lagos, Nigeria-born Adeleke, who went undradted in the 2006 NBA Draft, is a well-traveled import, with professional cage stints in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Ukraine, Spain and in the U.S. where he played for the Springfield Armour where he averaged 5.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 31 games.

Adeleke has over a week to get acclimated before debuting for Phoenix on February 17 against the NLEX Road Warriors. — By Richard Dy