Barako Bull's Joshua Dollard (23) goes to the basket against Rain or Shine's TY Tang (11). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Barako Bull Energy have been pleasantly surprised by the performance of import Joshua Dollard, especially as he came in only as a replacement after Barako’s first choice import encountered contractual problems.
Dollard has been nothing short of sensational in his first two games for Barako despite standing at “only” 6-foot-5, the shortest among imports.
In his debut against Ginebra, he tallied 45 points and 18 rebounds, although he fouled out in their overtime loss. But he made up for it with a 44-point, 19-rebound performance as the Energy upset Rain or Shine in their second game.
“Magaling talaga ito, but I didn’t expect that he’ll play like this,” Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos told the league website of Dollard, who replaced original import Dwayne Chism.
“Nung nakita namin sa tune-up, andoon ‘yung versatility ng game niya at mas marami siyang nagagawa kaysa kay Chism,” Ramos added.
Dollard, who has played in leagues in Turkey, the Czech Republic and Turkey, was simply thankful to get the chance to show off his abilities.
“It’s just a blessing from God to come out here and perform in front of the fans, and for my team to get the job done. This is not new to me. I always believe in myself and have the confidence in myself and my abilities,” he said.
After playing against the tough frontlines of Ginebra and Rain or Shine in his first two games, Dollard said he has no issues with the physicality of the league.
“The first thing I told my coaches when I got here is that they don’t have to worry about the physical style of play, because it matches my style,” he explained.
“This league is more physical than other leagues in Europe. I think it’s a good fit for me,” he added.
Dollard and the Energy will try to hike their record to 2-1 against the Air21 Express on Friday.