Saints sign up 'holidaying' Jones on week-to-week basis

His girlfriend might not be too happy but as far as the Wellington Saints are concerned, Marcel Jones timed his holiday to perfection.

The Saints snapped up the 2.01m small forward yesterday on a week-by-week contract as a temporary replacement for injured American shooting guard Eric Devendorf.

There are concerns Devendorf's sprained ankle is more serious than first thought.

Devendorf is now in a moon boot and will undergo an MRI scan today.

So in comes former Manawatu Jets import Jones, who was in New Zealand for a month's holiday before returning to the United States for university next month.

"I was just visiting my girlfriend, she lives in Hawera," Jones said. "They obviously had an injury, I was here so I just kind of fell into it. Crazy, right?"

And how did his girlfriend take the news the holiday was now a working one?

"She wasn't too happy but at least she can visit," Jones laughed. "Before we were in different countries and she couldn't visit."

Jones is in good shape, having won a championship in England with the Everton Tigers on May 10.

He was the NBL's second leading scorer last season but will have to be worked into a Saints rotation already including natural small forwards Leon Henry and Erron Maxey.

Veteran Troy McLean will likely step into Devendorf's shoes at shooting guard. The Saints (9-4) are third with five games left before the finals, starting with tomorrow night's home game against league-leading Waikato Pistons.

"They're [Saints] near the top of the table and they want to stay there," Jones said. "So we've got to put some wins together. Losing Eric, that's a lot of productivity. You've got to pick it up as a team, everybody needs to step up a bit. I'm just going to add to that."

The Dominion Post