25 February 2017

Meralco Signs Stepheson as Import

Alex Stepheson
After Arinze Onuaku and Allen Durham, everyone knows that Meralco Bolts always had good eyes for imports. Hopefully, they again landed a superb player in Alex Stepheson.

Stepheson will reinforce the Bolts in the import-laden 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup. Team manager Paolo Trillo confirmed the news as they get a much needed boost down low with the acquisition of the 6-foot-10 slotman.

"We wanted to bring him in last year. He was one of our top options, but we had a hard time signing him because he got called up," he said.

Stepheson saw action for the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers after racking in hardware in his stops in Slovenia and Turkey.

The 29-year-old has also displayed his mastery in the paint, leading the 2016 season of the NBA D-League in rebounding with 13.8 boards per game, while also averaging 15.9 points, 1.3 blocks, and 1.1 assists for the Iowa Energy, en route to him being named in that season’s All-NBA D-League First Team.

Stepheson last saw action for Guangzhou Long Lions in the Chinese Basketball Association.

His entry will be a welcome addition for the Bolts, which ranked in the bottom half of rebounding after only hauling 45.4 boards per outing last conference.

"He’s a natural rebounder and he gives us the same game we needed from our imports like Arinze Onuaku and Allen Durham. We're very excited for him," Trillo said.

Meralco is seeking to replicate or even surpass last season's semifinal finish in the second conference as it tries to put behind its forgettable 3-8 outing this past Philippine Cup.

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