By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Converge FiberXers will be bringing in a familiar face to serve as their conference import for the upcoming 2023 PBA Governor’s Cup.
Ethan Rusbatch, a Kiwi swingman that was a part of the New Zealand national basketball team that broke the hearts of Gilas Pilipinas in their past FIBA Asia qualifier games, will be reinforcing the FiberXers in the next import-laced conference of the PBA.
The six-foot-five skilled forward was present in the Tall Blacks’ active roster during the back-to-back FIBA games where Gilas got swept.
Rusbatch was a problem for Gilas during those two games where he exposed several mismatches underneath and played his stretch role to perfection.
In the first encounter, Rusbatch filled the stat sheets and finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds, and an assist.
Rusbatch wasn’t done inflicting damage to the Filipino fans and hoopers as the savvy veteran topped his scoring performance in the first game and tallied 12 big points in their following clash.
The new Converge import is currently posting impressive numbers for New Zealand and is averaging 12.3 points built from 2.5 three-pointers and 1.5 assists per game.
It was the Tiebreaker Times who first broke the development and was also announced by assistant team manager Jacob Lao and head coach Aldin Ayo.
“I think the coaches and us decided to bring in Ethan because he came from a good program. He is well-versed in international basketball,” said Lao.
Aside from his vast experience playing in the FIBA stage, Rusbatch is also a well-known player in the NZ-NBL and the NBL-Australia where Filipino NBA aspirant Kai Sotto is currently playing.
“From what we’ve heard and seen, he is a fundamentally sound player and has good character. He really loves to play within a system which is perfect for our young team,” said Ayo.