Robinson Robinson is NLEX’s newest ka-Arangkada. Photo courtesy of NLEX Facebook page

Ex-LA Lakers player to join NLEX

September 14, 2023 Robert Andaya 298 views

FORMER Los Angeles Lakers mainstay Thomas Robinson is coming to Manila.

Robinson, the 6-10 American-Lebanese center will play for the NLEX Road Warriors in the coming PBA  Commissioner’s Cup starting Nov. 5.

“NLEX  Road Warriors welcome Thomas Robinson. Robinson will be our powerhouse import for the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Get ready for an exciting season ahead as we dominate the court with Robinson leading the charge,” said NLEX in its Facebook post last Wednesday.

If the plan pushes thru, this will be the first time that the 32-year- old Robinson will get to play in Asia’s first play-for-pay league.

Robinson, who was drafted as No.5 overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2012,   was supposed to play for San Miguel Beer last season , but failed to suit up due to a back injury.

A former mainstay of the Kansas Jayhawks from 2009-12, Robinson  played one season for Sacramento before moving to the Houston Rockets.(2013), Portland Trailblazers ( 2013-15), Philadelphia 76ers (2015), Brooklyn Nets (2015-16) and the LA Lakers ( 2016-17).

After his stint with the Lakers, Robinson signed with Russian club Khimki for the 2017–18 season.

Also playing as imports  in the  season-opening conference  are Justin Brownlee (Barangay Ginebra),  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (TNT), Tyler Bey (Magnolia) and  Feron Hunt (Meralco).

The rest of the teams have yet to announce their imports.

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup was originally scheduled to kick off on Oct.15  but was moved to Nov. 5  “to give players who will be included in the national team for the Asian Games in Hangzhou,China  enough time to rest and recover.”

With NBA veteran Jordan Clarkson returning to the Utah Jazz and several other national players  going back to their respective teams in the Japanese and Korean leagues after playing in the FIBA World Cup 2023, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone will now field  an all-PBA team for the Asian Games scheduled Sept. 23 – Oct. 8.