The last conference of the ongoing 47th season of the PBA will begin on Sunday, January 22, as the Meralco Bolts are set to face off the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the first game, followed by Converge FiberXers matchup against the NorthPort Batang Pier.
The 2023 PBA Governors' Cup allows teams to hire foreign players or imports with a height limit of 6 feet 6 inches. Although Justin Brownlee is already a naturalized Filipino, he is still considered an import based on the rules of the league.
Aside from Brownlee, five other imports will make their return to the PBA, while six others will make their Philippine debut this year.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel PBA Import: Justin Brownlee
The recently crowned Barangay Ginebra San Miguel doesn't want to fix what's not broken as their resident import Justin Brownlee is set to return for his tenth conference with the team. Just a few days ago, Brownlee won his sixth PBA championship, tying Sean Chambers for most championships won by an import. With their 4-3 win against the Hong Kong-based guest team Bay Area Dragons, Brownlee remained undefeated in a PBA Finals Series.
During the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Brownlee made history to become the first import in league history to record 300 career steals in their match against Blackwater Bossing.
Blackwater Bossing PBA Import: Shawn Glover
The Blackwater Bossing called back Shawn Glover to be their import once again, replacing Cameron Krutwig who was the team's import during the Commissioner's Cup. Glover is no stranger to the team as he was also Blackwater Bossing's import at the 2021 PBA Governors Cup as a replacement for the injured Jaylen Bond.
Back then, Glover and the Blackwater Bossing only won a game against the Magnolia Chicken Timplado Hotshots, 101-100. Now that he's back, one of Glover's goals for the team is to bring them back to the winning column.
Converge FiberXers PBA Import: Ethan Rusbatch
For the first time, New Zealand basketball player Ethan Rusbatch will bring his talents to the Philippines as an import of the Converge FiberXers under head coach Aldin Ayo. At 20 years old, Rusbatch turned pro, playing for New Zealand's National Basketball League (NZNBL) team Southland Sharks.
Aside from the NZNBL, Rusbatch also played for the Australian National Basketball League team Adelaide 36ers. The 30-year-old shooting guard/small forward also has an experience with the Tall Blacks, the New Zealand men's national basketball team. At the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Rusbatch played in five games, averaging 3.6 points per game.
Magnolia Chicken Timplado Hotshots PBA Import: Erik McCree
The Magnolia Chicken Timplado Hotshots will introduce a new import in Erik McCree, who once played for the Utah Jazz in the NBA, and their NBA G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars. After playing college basketball, McCree became undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft. He then became a part of the Houston Rockets Summer League before signing with the Miami Heat for their training camp squad.
After his short stint in the NBA and NBA G League, McCree took his talent to Europe, playing for several teams in different countries. Before signing with the Magnolia Chicken Timplado Hotshots, McCree signed a contract with Shiga Lakestars of the Japanese B.League, although he never played for the team.
Meralco Bolts PBA Import: K.J. McDaniels
American K.J. McDaniels is set to return as the import of the Meralco Bolts, after leading the team to three victories during the 2022-23 PBA Commissioners' Cup. Before the Meralco Bolts, he played for the TNT Tropang Giga at the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup. McDaniels was set to play for the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2021-22 PBA Commissioners Cup, but the conference was later canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before landing in the PBA, McDaniels played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, and Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. He also played for the NBA G League teams Grand Rapids Drive, Oklahoma City Blue, and the Greensboro Swarm.
NLEX Road Warriors PBA Import: Jonathon Simmons
After playing in China during the pandemic, Jonathon Simmons will take his talents to the Philippines as the import of the NLEX Road Warriors. Simmons first played for the San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, and Philadelphia 76ers, before being traded to the Washington Wizards.
In his only full season with the Orlando Magic, Simmons averaged 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
NorthPort Batang Pier PBA Import: Marcus Weathers
Arguably the most inexperienced import is NorthPort Batang Pier's Marcus Weathers, who has no professional career prior to signing in the PBA. Weathers originally signed with the San Miguel Beermen as their import for the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup. However, San Miguel Beermen eventually chooses another as their import.
In his collegiate career, Weathers played in the NCAA for Duquesne University for three years, before transferring to the Southern Methodist University Mustangs in his last year of eligibility.
Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters PBA Import: Du'Vaughn Maxwell
The Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters bring back Du'Vaughn Maxwell as their import. Maxwell previously played for the team as their third import at the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup as a replacement for Paul Harris and Dominique Sutton.
The 6-foot-6-inches Maxwell played for the University of Hampton until 2014. Prior to the PBA, Maxwell played in Mexico, Canada, Uruguay, France, and Ukraine.
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters PBA Import: Michael Qualls
Michael Qualls will wear the jersey of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on his second trip to the Philippines, after playing for the NorthPort Batang Pier at the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, as a replacement for Mychal Ammons.
In between his two stints in the Philippines, Qualls played in the Saudi Basketball League, and in Romania's Liga National Baschet de Masculin.
San Miguel Beermen PBA Import: Cameron Clark
31-year-old Cameron Clark returns to the Philippines as the import of the San Miguel Beermen after serving as the reinforcement of the NLEX Road Warriors for the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup as a replacement for K.J. McDaniels.
Clark replaced McDaniels during the playoffs where the NLEX Road Warriors finished the eliminations in second with an 8-3 win-loss record. Clark failed to carry his team to a championship after losing to Justin Brownlee and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the semifinals, 3-1.
Terrafirma Dyip PBA Import: Jordan Williams
The Terrafirma Dyip found its import in veteran Jordan Williams, who is a product of North Texas Mean Green. Before arriving in the Philippines, Williams played small forward for the Mineros de Zacatecas in Mexico from 2018 to 2021, and again in 2022.
Terrafirma Dyip head coach John Cardel compared Williams to NBA superstar Kevin Durant in terms of his basketball IQ.
TNT Tropang Giga PBA Import: Jalen Hudson
Jalen Hudson will be the youngest in this batch of imports at 26 years old. The shooting guard/small forward will take his talents in the PBA as the import of TNT Tropang Giga under its new head coach, Jojo Lastimosa.
After his collegiate career, Hudson went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, but he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers for the summer league later on. After a year in the NBA G League, Hudson left the NBA to play abroad.
PBA Governors Cup Competition Target
Aside from being the recently crowned champion of the Commissioner's Cup, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will be the target of the 11 other teams since they also won the last edition of the Governors' Cup.
With Justin Brownlee at the helm, it would not be a surprise if the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel would win the championship once again.