Stepheson, Fuller to boost Blackwater's campaign in Macau tournament

The Blackwater Elite are tapping Alex Stepheson and Aaron Fuller as imports for their upcoming campaign in the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 in Macau.

Stepheson is back in harness after a stint with Blackwater, which was initially eyeing Greg Smith for the weeklong tournament, got cut short in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup due to E.coli infection in his stomach. He led the Elite to a 5-1 start before flying back to the U.S. for treatment.

"(Stepheson) knows the team and the system so (his return) shouldn't be a problem and the team loves him," Blackwater team governor Silliman Sy told ESPN5.

Stepheson, a 2016 All-NBA D-League First Team member, averaged 22.17 points, 22.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.17 blocks during his first six games with the Elite. His size should come in handy since the Elite will be facing top-notch Asian clubs Chiba Jets from Japan and South Korean ball club Seoul SK Knights.

Stepheson will be teaming up with Fuller, who saw action for the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2017 and 2018 Governors' Cups.

Fuller is fresh from a stint with Mexican professional club Fuerza Regia in the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional (LNBP).

Sy said after the Terrific 12, the 29-year-old Fuller will stay on as the Elite's import for the upcoming Governors' Cup.

The Terrific 12, which allows each team to field two foreign reinforcements, is scheduled to start on September 17 with a one-game championship culminating on September 22 at Macao's Tap Seac Multi-sports Pavilion.

Aside from Blackwater, powerhouse PBA squads San Miguel Beer and TNT will represent the Philippines in the tournament.The champion will pocket US$150,000, while the runner-up and third-placer will take home US$ 100,000 and US$50,000, respectively.