TERRAFIRMA is keeping its hopes import Antonio Hester will help the team get to the next level in the coming PBA Governors Cup.
Coach Johnedel Cardel said Hester could just be the missing link the Dyip didn't have when it fell short of making it to the playoffs in the last Philippine Cup at the Bacolor bubble.
Hester, 31, is now in the country and completing his mandatory quarantine protocols.
The Miami, Florida native is coming off a stint in the Men's Premier League in Iceland, where he emerged as the top rebounding player for the 2021 season, and was once named the league's Foreign Player of the Year in 2018.
He averaged 18.4 points and a league-leading 12.0 rebounds in Iceland this year.
Cardel describes the Dyip import as an athletic guy, who can play the 4 and 5 spots, but at the same time, can shoot from both the perimeter and beyond the arc.
"Hester is a complete package. You can see his skills set, very athletic, and an energy guy. I think he can help the team win, and make the quarterfinals," said the Terrafirma coach as he appeared in the nightly sports program The Game together with the 6-foot-6 Hester.
But Cardel believes the Dyip could have advanced in the playoffs in the recent all-Filipino conference if not for the injuries suffered by top rookie Joshua Munzon, big man Andreas Cahilig, and former no. 1 pick Roosevelt Adams.
"Yun ang naging factor," said Cardel of the Dyip's failure to advance in the quarterfinals.
"But what if hindi na-injured si Drey (Cahilig) and si Adams was 100 percent, siguro we could have made it five or six wins para makapasok sa quarterfinals in the last bubble"
Hester could spell the difference for the Dyip especially with friend and former Terrafirma import Lester Prosper a good friend of his.
"I learned a lot from Lester Prosper. He kind of put me on game on the style of play out here," he said. "There's not just too much of an adjustment. You just got to be ready, that's all." (RG)