16 May 2012

Pickett to Return for Bolts?

Tim Pickett
There were reports circulating around the Philippine basketball Association (PBA) that the Meralco Bolts are considering bringing back the explosive Tim Pickett for their Governors' Cup campaign.

It will be recalled that Pickett averaged 30 points in his first two games with the Meralco Bolts last year, before injuring his hamstring in his third game, where he scored just 11 points. In his three-game stint, Pickett averaged 11 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting 37.5 percent from three-point distance.

Pickett, 30, took over from Champ Oguchi on an experimental basis in the Bolts' game against Air21 last year and delivered an eye-popping performance. He finished with 32 points, including 6-of-9 triples, 11 rebounds and four assists in 42 minutes as Meralco trounced the Express, 93-86. The showing was enough to convince Gregorio which import to lean on the rest of the conference.

"The things that Tim brings to the table are the requirements that we need considering our lack of depth in the two-guard and point guard spots. He's not just a volume shooter but a scorer with accuracy. He has a complete offensive package but his major impact is his ability to bring the ball down, set the table and give Sol (Mercado) some rest," Coach Ryan Gregorio explained awhile back.

Initially, the Bolts were hesitant to bring in Pickett because of the health of the team’s local personnel. They were considering a bigger import if the condition (herniated disc) of starting power forward Gabby Espinas does not improve. Pickett plays the wing position.

However, with Espinas traded to Alaska for center JR Reyes, Meralco may have no other reason not to try their luck with Pickett.

Pickett was the New Orleans Hornets second round pick in the 2004 NBA draft. Before playing in the PBA, he suited up in leagues in France, Italy, Bulgaria, China, Jordan, Puerto Rico and Israel. Early last year, Pickett played for the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese league, averaging 27.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

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