Dwight Howard wants to play in PBA, despite height eligibility

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DWIGHT HOWARD reiterated his height eligibility for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), where he hopes to make it as an import someday after his stint with Strong Group Athletics (SGA) in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championships.

“I’m eligible for the PBA,” expressed Mr. Howard, clarifying that he’s 6-foot-9 without shoes, in the thick of SGA’s preparations for the Middle Eastern tourney on Jan. 19 to 28.

Mr. Howard is listed at 6-foot-10 according to the NBA website. In FIBA, he’s billed as 6-foot-11.

The PBA has a height limit of 6-foot-9 for imports in the Commissioner’s Cup and 6-foot-6 in the Governors’ Cup, making Mr. Howard eligible if his claim of a 6-foot-9 height is true depending on PBA’s measurement.

In case that he’s not, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and one-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers is appealing for changes from Asia’s oldest professional league.

“I think they gotta change the height requirements because I’m 6’9” without shoes. And with shoes, it has a little. I hope they do that so guys like Dray (Andray Blatche) can come back here and play as well,” Mr. Howard added.

CHANGE HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS
“We want to play in the PBA. If they change the height requirements, maybe we’ll see twin towers in the Philippines.”

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup for the 48th Season is already underway nearing the playoffs and should the stars align for the 38-year-old slotman, he has to wait until next season.

For now, Mr. Howard is shifting all his focus and attention to the preparations of SGA in a bid to avenge a quarterfinal finish in Dubai last year with his big help.

“I believe we can do anything if we put our minds to it. We gotta have faith. Our focus is going to Dubai and play against whatever team is out there, represent the Philippines and win,” vowed Mr. Howard, who’s on his third visit to the country but first time playing here. — John Bryan Ulanday