Jets sign hard-working center Moliva


Staff Writer

Gaston Moliva is the expansion Chiba Jets’ latest signing, the bj-league club revealed Friday.

The 213-cm center, who previously played under Jets coach Eric Gardow for the Qatar Sports Club, joins a frontcourt that includes George Leach, the Indiana University product, who has suited up for the bj-league’s Takamatsu Five Arrows, Ryukyu Golden Kings, Saitama Broncos and Niigata Albirex BB.

Moliva, 26, was born in Yaounde, Cameroon. His college basketball career was spent at the University of Richmond, an Atlantic-10 Conference school. Another new bj-league center, the Sendai 89ers’ Sudanese big man Longar Longar, was born in Africa.

“Gaston is a powerful and versatile player,” Gardow told The Japan Times on Friday. “He works extremely hard at both ends of the floor and will be a workhorse for us in that I can use him in a variety of ways. He will be the most unknown of the bj-league imports (newcomers), and I like it that way, however, that may not last long.”

The Jets are back in action with a preseason contest on Saturday against the host Saitama Broncos on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.

“When I think about Gaston or analyze his game, I think about all the intangibles that happen when he is on the court, most of which may not show up in the stat line,” added Gardow.

“He has spent three seasons with me, this will be his fourth and without a doubt one of the toughest and easiest players I have ever coached. He is a soft-spoken giant that lets his talent and ability do all the talking. Oh, and besides all of that basketball talent, he is an outstanding person, a soon-to-be father, and if there is such a thing, he is a perfect teammate.”