14 January 2015

Bolts Pursuing Former Air21 Import

Michael Dunigan
After struggling to offset the height advantage of their opponents, Meralco Bolts is trying to lure a tested and proven big man back into the league as their chosen import when the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup opens on 27 January.

Michael Dunigan was the reinforcement of the defunct Air21 Express two years ago when he led the Bert Lina franchise to a 6-8 win-loss card in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup.

With the Bolts, the 6-foot-9 center from Farragut Academy in Chicago, Illinois has a chance to help get the team all the way to their first ever championship game. As a senior, Dunigan averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks per game. The 2008 McDonald’s All-American was rated as one of the top prep centers: No. 3 by ESPN.com, No. 5 by Scout.com and No. 8 by Rivals.com.

In 15 games with the Express, the 25-year old big man averaged 23.9 points, 15.4 boards, 3.3 assists, and 2.4 blocks in 42.4 minutes. I his first game in the league, Dunigan's recorded 24 points and 19 rebounds as his team went on to defeat Barangay Ginebra 74-70.

On November 2, 2014, Dunigan was selected by the Canton Charge with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA D-League draft. He later averaged 11.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 blocks in 21 games.

Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) group media relations officer Virgil Villavicencio confirmed the American big man as one of the leading candidate that will be tapped by the Bolts as their reinforcement. The team has yet to disclose other prospective candidates in case their case to hire Dunigan does not push through.

Dunigan’s Strengths:
  • Very good strength and toughness
  • Decent rebounder and shot-blocker
  • Soft hands
Dunigan’s Weaknesses:
  • Needs to develop consistent mid-range shot
  • Conditioning
  • Needs to improve passing skills
  • Foul prone
What the Experts Say:

Carl Berman, Basketball Times & NetScouts Basketball, said that, "Dunigan has the strength and body type to eventually play in the NBA but must improve his conditioning, post up more strongly and develop a consistent 12-15 foot shot to have a chance."

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