02 March 2015

Meralco Signs Emmet for 3rd Conference

Andre Emmet
After Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings disrupted their plans to hire Michael Dunnigan as their reinforcement in the on-going 2015 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup, Meralco Bolts is right not to trust local agents and word-of-the-mouth assurances. They decided to sign their import this early.

With the League bent on cramping the playing schedule and moving the opening of the third conference sometime in May 2015, the Bolts decided to immediately sign who they think should be able to help them achieve their ultimate goal: their first-ever PBA championship.

While the National Basketball Association (NBA) D-League and Asian tournaments provide a slew of promising prospects the chance to shine once and for all, the Bolts see it as a venue to tap hopeful veterans with an opportunity to play in the PBA. One player who fell short of the mark to make a name in the NBA, but could have plenty of gas left in the tank, is Andre Emmet.

"We just signed him (Emmett) up this morning (16 February 2015) as our import for the third conference,” Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo told Spin.ph. “The timing is good because he was just named the NBA D-League All-Star MVP."

Following cups of coffee with the Grizzlies and Nets in NBA, the 32 year old has since taken to the minor league to strut his stuff and prove his worth yet again. He was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 35th overall pick in the 2004 draft.

Fresh off earning himself "Performer of the Week" honors in the D-League, Emmett has certainly been a key catalyst in the defending champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants' current eight-game winning streak.

The guard, who spent 2010-12 with the Reno Bighorns, is averaging 20.4 points on 53 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep, to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals fort Fort Wayne.

While such numbers are undeniably impressive enough, Emmett has been even hotter during his team's winning streak, pouring in 26.8 points per contest along the way.

Emmett is, admittedly, much more seasoned than most minor league prospects in the D-League. Such a matter of fact could go on to be a blessing or a curse for the Bolts, depending on who is watching. Nevertheless, the consensus across the board between an array of NBA and D-League coaches and scouts alike appears to be that the 6'5", 225 pounder, stands tall as the best overall scorer in the minor league.

"You can give him the ball, and he just gets it done," said one staffer, who added that Emmett is still versatile enough to hit opposing defenses by surprise and score in a number of different ways at quite a successful and efficient rate.

So far this season, he's been able to live up to (while otherwise simply confirm) such a reputation. While Emmett may not boast the most upside, his scoring prowess may be enough for the Bolts to sign him and rely on him to carry the team to the promise land. After all, he would probably prove to be the most reliable option for Meralco coping with inconsistent scorers, but still in need of an instant injection of life on the offense end.

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