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    Guiao on chances of KJ McDaniels returning for NLEX series vs Ginebra

    Mar 21, 2022
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    NLEX coach Yeng Guiao says KJ McDaniels himself ruled himself out of rejoining the Road Warriors in the PBA Governors Cup.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    YENG Guiao is a busy man who does not beat around the bush. So when he was asked if there is any chance KJ McDaniels can rejoin NLEX at any time during the PBA Governors Cup semifinal playoff against Barangay Ginebra, he gave a straightforward answer.

    No chance.

    "Hindi na kami umaasa," said Guiao, a day after the Road Warriors booted out Alaska, 96-80, to book their place in a best-of-five semis against Ginebra.

    McDaniels a game-changer

    The news came as a surprise, considering Guiao left the door slightly ajar for his super import after the former NBA player returned to the US at the end of the elimination round to be with his wife for the birth of their child.

    An import like McDaniels could be a game-changer in the Ginebra series, considering he averaged 30.6 points, 11.45 rebounds, 3.27 assists and 2.82 shotblocks in the elims while leading NLEX to the No. 2 seed on an 8-3 (win-loss) record.

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      However, Guiao bared McDaniels himself ruled out a return, at least not for the ongoing conference, since he plans to be around in the weeks after his enlisted personnel wife gives birth.

      "We are not expecting him to come back," Guiao said. "At least, not in this conference."

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      That means NLEX will have to rely on Cameron Clark in its bid to knock off crowd favorite Ginebra, which is gunning for a fourth Governors' Cup championship in six years with the prolific Justine Brownlee as import.

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        Guiao candidly admits that Clark is not as prolific a scorer or as intimidating on defense as McDaniels, but only because he didn't have to in his previous tours of duty, mostly in Europe.

        If asked, Guiao has no doubt his import can raise the bar.

        "He is not as dominant [as McDaniels], but that is because he is a system play," the multi-titled coach said of Clark, who averaged 24.5 points in the two playoff games against Alaska. "He runs patterns and follows instructions.

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        "He has to adjust now that he needs to take more shots and score more. But I think he has the ability to do that."

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        NLEX coach Yeng Guiao says KJ McDaniels himself ruled himself out of rejoining the Road Warriors in the PBA Governors Cup.
        PHOTO: PBA Images
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