Former PBA Best Import awardee Gabe Freeman has been tapped to reinforce the Philippine Patriots’ drive for the title in the 1st ASEAN Basketball League.
Freeman, who led San Miguel Beer to the Fiesta Conference title last year over Barangay Ginebra, takes the spot of Brandon Powell who has been ineffective in the team's last few games.
The 6'5" Powell averaged 11 points and 4.5 rebounds in 13 contests but was a flop in the team's losing road games against the Singapore Slingers and the Kuala Lumpur Dragons.
Powell scored only a combined 15 points in those two contests that saw the Patriots losing by an average of 13 points. The Slingers pulled off a 67-59 win while the Dragons routed the visiting Patriots, 92-74.
“We definitely need a consistent scorer and Freeman will fit well with the team," said coach Louie Alas.
The Patriots still lead the six-team regional basketball league with a 9-4 record but they need to win their two remaining elimination games to get the No. 1 seat and the coveted homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.
With an 8-4 record, the Slingers can still tie the Patriots for the top spot with 11 wins should they win their final three road games against the Dragons, Brunei Barracudas and Thailand Tigers.
Freeman averaged 23 points, 16 rebounds and two assists and steals in 24 games with the Beermen.
He will be a good complement to Patriots’ other import, 6'9" Jason Dixon, who has been the heart and soul of the team with averages of 16 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Freeman, who arrived last night, is expected to suit up when the Patriots take on the Thailand Tigers this Sunday at the Nimibutr Stadium in Thailand.
The Patriots’ last game will be on January 24 at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City against Brunei Barracudas. – GMANews.TV