Ex-NBA star to mentor Petron's big men
MANILA, Philippines - NBA Hall of Famer Alex English will be in town for only a week to observe the Petron Blaze Boosters, particularly big men Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Carlo Sharma and Noy Baclao whom he will train for two months next year.
"We believe a two-month period of training is enough. Alex English doesn't need to be here year round," said SMC basketball operations chief Robert Non.
Petron tapped the former eight-time NBA All-Star player as skills coach following the transfer of Alton Lister to Meralco. Lister is a 17-year NBA veteran with stints with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Super Sonics, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Non said SMC president Ramon Ang wants all their three teams in Petron, Barangay Ginebra and B-Meg to have their own skills coach.
Barangay Ginebra has enlisted Joe Ward for the job while coach Tim Cone is still in search for their own skills mentor at B-Meg.
English became available after his contract with the Toronto Raptors as their assistant coach was not renewed.
He served as the director of player development and assistant coach for the Raptors from June 2004 to July 2011. He previously worked as assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks.
He's got several Manila contacts, having been in the country with the group of Dennis Rodman that played a two-game series in the country a few years back.
A second-round draft pick, English rose as a major NBA star who spent the best of his 16-year career with the Denver Nuggets.
He led the Nuggets to nine consecutive playoffs, winding up the leading scorer in 55 percent of the games he played with the team.
He made the All-NBA Second Team thrice, including 1985 when he powered the Nuggets to the Western Conference finals.
He was sixth in the NBA's scoring ladder with 25,613 points by the time he retired in 1992. Through 2010, English was at No. 13.