PHOENIX coach Ariel Vanguardia feels Jameel Mckay is still the import that's fit for his team, stressing it’s his locals who need to step up after failing to do so in the team’s 110-88 loss to San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night.
Mckay registered team-highs of 21 points and 16 boards along with two steals in 39 minutes, but he couldn't save the Fuel Masters from losing for the third time in the four games since he came on board.
“Jameel is there, he provides energy,” Vanguardia said. “Tonight he missed a couple of shots din in transition tsaka yung mga easy shots that he would have made. But nandun naman yung effort eh.”
“Yun lang talaga, collectively as a group, kailangan ma-figure out namin,” he added after Matthew Wright typified the Fuel Masters locals’ poor shooting by missing all his 13 shots in 30 minutes.
Cyrus Baguio also missed all his seven shots in seven minutes, including two from beyond the arc as the Fuel Masters made just seven of their 34 three-point attempts as a team.
Wright believes McKay remains the reinforcement the Fuel Masters need, echoing Vanguardia’s sentiments.
“Hell yeah. He (Jameel) does everything we ask for, he plays defense and hustles,” Wright said. “He doesn’t demand the ball every single time on the court. He doesn’t get mad when he doesn't get the ball, instead he goes down and gets rebounds and hustle points and stats.
“He jells with the team most importantly, so we can definitely win with Jameel and we're gonna win with Jameel,” he added.