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Blackwater Elite to bring back Greg Smith ahead of playoffs

Greg Smith suited up for the Blackwater Elite in the 2017 Commissioner's Cup. PBA Media Group

Greg Smith is making his PBA return to give the Blackwater Elite a much-needed boost in the 2019 Commissioner's Cup playoffs.

The former Houston Rocket big man is expected to arrive Monday night to replace Staphon Blair, who has been playing the last few games on an injured knee.

"Blair has knee problems that's why the moment he got injured, we already contacted Greg Smith," Blackwater team governor Silliman Sy told ESPN5 on Monday.

Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan said they are excited to welcome back Smith, who can provide the Elite rebounding, defensive presence and inside scoring.

"He will be a great help for our campaign with what he can bring to the table, and experience-wise and skills around the paint and post area," Dimaunahan said.

Smith, who is coming off a recent stint with Vaqueros de Bayamón in Puerto Rico, will have a few days of practice before the Elite begin their best-of-three quarterfinal duel with either Rain or Shine or San Miguel Beer, depending on the outcome of the games on Wednesday.

"Greg's a workhorse kind of a player as well and an NBA vet so we are all excited and hoping we could perform better," said Dimaunahan. "He's a great team player as well so we are all excited to welcome him back."

The Elite enter the quarterfinal round as the third seed with a 7-4 card, the highest finish in the eliminations in franchise history.

The 28-year-old Smith saw action for the Elite two years ago in the same conference, but Blackwater only managed a 3-8 record.