Technically the ignominy of being called a PBA import bust is a fruit of fruitless play spread over a few games, but when your coach compares you to no less than Chris Bosh and then you end up playing no better than, say, Chris Gatling, well, you can be counted as an exception.
MJ Rhett wasn’t exactly butt-awful as Blackwater lost to Tropang TNT on opening night, but the Elite should have won against a team without an import and a starting power forward returning from a major injury, right?
Rhett played a ton in that game — 46 minutes — but he scored just 16 points, grabbed only 7 rebounds, and handed out just 1 assist against 5 turnovers. Not exactly Chris Bosh numbers, right? Heck, not even Marcus Douthit numbers. In last year’s Commish Cup, Douthit put up around 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks per outing. Rhett isn’t exactly on track to meet those averages, at least based on his first game.
Compare that with the other imports who played this past Wednesday:
Denzel Bowles: 20pts, 15rebs, 3blks, 2stls
Arinze Onuaku: 25pts, 22rebs, 3asts, 11/17 FGs
Clearly, Rhett has a bit of a long way to go. He will have to step up even more now that there’s a chance JP Erram will be sidelined. He has to adjust to Carlo Lastimosa’s being the team’s top gun. He has to find ways to contribute aside from scoring. He basically has his work cut out for him.
Can the Mississippi grad bounce back in a big way and make things click for the Elite? Can he live up to the Chris Bosh comparison? Or will he be the latest in a long line of PBA import busts?
The jury’s out on that, but, to be quite honest, things aren’t looking good. — By Enzo Flojo