ANTIPOLO - Bringing in import Wendell McKines two months before the start of the PBA Governors' Cup paid off well for the San Miguel Beermen.
McKines came too early that he was even able to watch some of the team's elimination round games before capturing the Commissioner's Cup title at TnT Katropa's expense.
Now it's working wonders for the Beermen, who started the final phase of their grand slam bid with a 118-93 win over Blackwater at the Ynares Center here on Saturday.
The former Rain or Shine reinforcement did fine in his debut in an SMB uniform, finishing with 19 points, including 11 in the first half, 12 rebounds, and five assists.
"I feel like I'm jelling pretty good," said McKines, who sat out the major part of the second half after the Beermen seized control in the first 24 minutes of action.
"I’ve been here for over two months now, so I think that was a wise decision by both of us by bringing me here and watching their journey to the championship. I'm jelling well."
San Miguel coach Leo Austria was pleased with McKines' outing, but believes the 28-year-old has more up his sleeve.
"Si McKines, medyo gigil nung una. Pero napakita naman niya kung anong meron siya," said Austria told reporters during the post-match interview.
His mettle will be put to test anew when the Beermen face Katropa in their next game.
"This is just my first game, but I'm fighting out there," said McKines.