By JONAS TERRADO
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao is thrilled to have secured the services of returning import KJ McDaniels for the PBA’s second conference which could start later this month.
Guiao said McDaniels is someone who can help fill the holes for the Road Warriors, especially with Kiefer Ravena in Japan playing for the Shiga Lakestars in the B.League.
“We’re looking for a player who can play both the small forward and power forward spots,” Guiao said in an interview posted on the team’s official site ArangkadaNLEX.com.
“Manny Harris (NLEX’s import during the 2019 Governors’ Cup) is okay for us, but we need a big guy more, aside from the fact that we’ll be needing more production from the import with Kiefer Ravena out for the rest of the season,” he added.
The Road Warriors got the former NBA player after his release was granted by Philippine Cup champion TNT Tropang Giga, who had McDaniels during the 2019 Governors’ Cup.
McDaniels averaged 37.1 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks for TNT, though these numbers were not the only reason why Guiao was impressed.
“What’s more impressive about KJ is his attitude,” said the NLEX mentor. “We heard a lot of good things about him. We certainly feel that he is the right import for us in helping us reach the playoffs again.”
The Road Warriors are aiming to improve on their quarterfinal finish from the recent Philippine Cup as the PBA awaits government clearance to play its first import-laden conference since 2019.
McDaniels, who is 28 years ago, is expected to arrive next week from the United States.