SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag could only shake his head in disbelief after seeing Macau Black Bears guard Mikh McKinney explode 50 points in their Asean Basketball League (ABL) face-off on Friday night.
"Did you see Allen Iverson out there?" the youthful mentor kidded after the defending champions pulled off a hard-earned 101-96 victory.
The comparison, even if said in jest, flattered the Fil-Am guard.
"That’s crazy," he said with a smile. "I mean, first of all, Jimmy is a legend in his own right, so it’s an honor for him to just appreciate my game. And to compare me to the guy that I looked up to growing up, Allen Iverson, it was just an honor."
McKinney was truly A.I.-esque in the game, going bonkers from the get-go as he scored 18 in the first quarter and got to 30 by halftime. He went 17-of-29 from the field and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc in what has been one of the most amazing scoring performances the regional league has seen.
"I watched Allen Iverson's clips before the game. That’s the guy I try to model my game around and it’s an honor to be mentioned like that with him and from a guy like Jimmy, it’s a big honor," he said.
"The ball started falling through the basket and just kinda got it going a little bit."
But the 27-year-old would rather not make a big fuss over his scoring feat, which brought him to the elusive 1,000-points club in the ABL. McKinney said he was just trying to hold the fort after Macau lost Anthony Tucker to an injury last week.
"I was just trying to get the win for my team. With us losing Anthony Tucker, that’s tough for us. He was a big part of our team so I just tried to do whatever I could out there to try and help my team win," he said.
"He was our leader. He got us into our offense, he kept everybody in check, and he did a lot. Coming off an MVP season, he’s our most valuable player so we had to adjust a lot. It was a big loss for us."