Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao bared they already had plans of bringing back the hard-banging Wendell McKines as the team’s import for the season-ending PBA Governors Cup.
But the 6-foot-4 wide-bodied American is locked up in his contract with Wonju Dongbu Promy in the Korean Basketball League, which might force Guiao to consider other options.
“Of course, we’d want to see Wendell play for us, but he’s under contract in Korea,” said Guiao, who is just a week removed from winning his seventh PBA title after guiding Rain or Shine to the Commissioner’s Cup crown.
“We don’t know if we can get him there, medyo malaki kasi ang sweldo nya dun eh.”
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor said he still has to talk it over with his coaching staff if they will still pursue McKines since the KBL’s 2015-16 just ended last March.
“For now, we’re looking at other prospects. We don’t have a decision yet, but the coaching staff will soon decide on who will be our import, kung si Wendell ba or iba ang kukunin,” added Guiao, whose team will be shooting for the Asian Coating franchise’s first-ever back-to-back PBA crowns.
Before playing for Wongbu, McKines came off a successful stint in the Venezuelan League, leading Cocodrilos de Caracas to the championship while being named Finals MVP.
Choosing to bring back McKines wasn’t difficult for Guiao considering that the former New Mexico standout averaged 30.4 points and 14.9 rebounds for Rain or Shine last season.
The hulking McKines also returned last season with a much-improved 3-point shooting, something Guiao liked to see for an import, owing to the team’s high-scoring, up-tempo approach.
Under McKines, Rain or Shine managed to reach the Final Four before bowing to San Miguel, which incidentally paraded former Elasto Painters import Arizona Reid last season.
Combo guard Paul Lee, named the Finals MVP in the Commissioner’s Cup, said there won’t be any major adjustment at all if Rain or Shine succeeds in bringing back McKines.
“Kung si Wendell ang import, masasabi ko na malaki ang chance namin kasi kabisado na niya yung sistema ni coach Yeng. Tapos maganda pa yung lina-laro niya ngayon kasi nag Finals MVP din siya sa Venezuela (pro league),” said Lee. — By Richard Dy