NBA CAGER  TO BOOST GINEBRA IN SAN MIG COFFEE FIESTA CONFERENCE

MANILA, October 4, 2005 
(STAR) By Joaquin Henson - Only one National Basketball Association (NBA) veteran is in the cast of imports for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) San Mig Coffee Fiesta Conference and he’s playing for Barangay Ginebra.

Sean Lampley, 26, was the Chicago Bulls second round pick in the 2001 NBA draft and saw action in 35 games for the Miami Heat in 2002-03 and 10 for the Golden State Warriors in 2003-04.

Lampley is one of two imports drafted by an NBA team. The other is San Miguel Beer’s Rico Hill who was picked on the second round by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1999.

It’ll be Lampley’s third PBA conference. In 2002, he was Joe Bunn’s replacement for Red Bull and played just a knockout game where the Barakos were eliminated by Purefoods in the First Conference. Lampley was back for Red Bull the next conference as Tony Lang’s replacement and teamed with Julius Nwosu to power the Photokina franchise to the title. He played in only the last four games of the Finals and Red Bull won three of the contests to clinch the best-of-7 series over Talk n Text.

Ginebra’s original import pick Mustapha Hoff was scheduled to leave last night.

If there’s an import who can lead the Kings back to the throne, it’s Lampley.

Ginebra won two of the last three championships but was far from impressive this past Fiesta Conference where the Kings plummeted to ninth place with MVP Eric Menk sidelined the final seven games.

Menk hasn’t been reactivated and coach Siot Tanquingcen hopes his local lineup of Romel Adducul, Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Rodney Santos, Mark Caguioa, Andy Seigle, Sunday Salvacion, Aris Dimaunahan, Migs Noble and fresh recruits Kalani Ferreria, Ervin Sotto and Mike Holper will be able to deliver with Lampley as the anchor.

Lampley makes his Ginebra debut against Coca-Cola in the first game of a Big Dome twinbill tomorrow.

As a four-year star at the University of California, Lampley shone brightly for coach Ben Braun. He didn’t only produce on the floor but was also the team leader who took younger players under his wing and kept tabs of their development during the offseason.

Lampley honed his leadership skills as a counselor at the Michael Jordan camps in Chicago. At California, he was known as the extension of his coaches on the court.

"Sean was a luxury because you always knew you had a go-to guy," said Braun. "He’s definitely come a long way. Sean makes plays for you. He’s proven that we get a pretty good return when we go to him. He’s a player who gives us different looks. He can take big guys outside or post you up on the low block."

Pac-10 Conference writer Jeff Faraudo said Lampley diversified his game to the point where he can move away from the basket and still be effective. "His long arms and post up ability allow him to play against taller defenders although he has shown strong ballhandling and perimeter skills," noted Faraudo.

Lampley comes from a family of basketball players. His four older brothers all played college hoops —Lemone at DePaul, Kevin at Aurora College, Michael at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lee at Western Kentucky.

As a senior at St. Francis DeSales high school in Chicago in 1996-97, Lampley took the varsity to fourth place in the state championships and was named to the top 15 prep small forward national honor roll by Hoop Scoop.

Lampley averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 31 games in his final year at California in 2000-01. The Golden Bears varsity posted a combined 72-52 record during Lampley’s four-year career. As a sophomore in 1998-99, Lampley was voted Finals MVP for leading California to the National Invitation Tournament title at Madison Square Garden.

In the Miami Heat media guide, Lampley listed the Philippines as his favorite place to visit.

Lampley earned a degree in secondary education at California "because I enjoy working with children" and plans to become a high school English or math teacher when he hangs up his sneakers. He also intends to manage a restaurant.

When not playing hoops, Lampley goes bowling and listens to hip-hop music. He likes watching football and his favorite team is the Green Bay Packers. His favorite movies are "As Good As It Gets" and "A Few Good Men."

Lampley finished his college career as California’s all-time leading scorer with 1,776 points and the only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in points, rebounds and assists. Among the prominent California hoopsters whose records Lampley eclipsed were NBA veterans Kevin Johnson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Jason Kidd, Michael Stewart, Sean Marks and Lamond Murray.

Coca-Cola will be a stiff test for Ginebra considering the Tigers new head coach Binky Favis used to be Tanquingcen’s assistant with the Kings.

The Tigers" import is Alex Carcamo who played for the Long Beach Jam in the Global Hoops Summit in Las Vegas last summer. The locals are Ali Peek, Billy Mamaril, Denok Miranda, Rob Wainwright, Gilbert Lao, Neil Raneses, Gerard Francisco, Johnny Abarrientos, Carlo Sharma, John Arigo, William Antonio and Dale Singson.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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