The Barako Bull management had to let go of Evan Brock and acquired former Lakers center DJ Mbenga in the process. The 7-foot Congonese-Belgian player was much talked about prior to the start of the PBA 2013 Commissioner's Cup because a few teams, including Brgy. Ginebra Kings, were hoping to sign him. However, it wasn't until Tuesday that the Barako Bull management has confirmed that they have signed Mbenga as the team's new import.
The size and height of Mbenga was the critical factor in their decision to tap him to reinforce their current lineup. According to team consultant Rajko Toroman, "we're the worst rebounding team, that's what we need in him. We don't care if he doesn't have an offense or what. We need his defense and hustle more."
Coach Bong Ramos also seconded saying that he is confident that DJ Mbenga will be the missing part of the formula to helping Barako Bull get the most wins out of their remaining games in their bid to escape an early break this conference.
Soon after arriving in the Philippines, DJ Mbenga joined a close door training with the rest of the team, coach Bong Ramos, and team consultant Rajko Toroman. The new recruit went through usual drills for post-up plays, free throw shooting, and rebounding. The team's goal is to maximize his size in order to establish a stronger presence on the inside, something of which the hard working Evan Brock lacked during his stint with the Barako Bull team.
Right now, the team's goal is to avoid being stuck in the 9 or 10 position in the league standings or else they could be taking an early vacation this conference. DJ Mbenga will be able to strut his wares in the PBA as he debuts against Petron Blaze Boosters this Sunday, April 7. Petron is also sporting a new import in Henry Sims, so it will be interesting to see which of the new imports will prevail although Sims will have his debut this Friday.