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    NEWS that KJ McDaniels is set to leave NLEX to be with his wife in Hawaii for the birth of their child coincided with San Miguel's decision to replace import Orlando Johnson with fellow former NBA player Shabazz Muhammad.

    So when we reported on Tuesday that Johnson's been spending an extra few days in the Philippines to enjoy Boracay, our comments pages on Facebook were filled with one clamor from fans: 'Why not OJ for NLEX?'

    Why not, right?

    Right off the bat, we knew it was a reach, since a lot of things need to happen for an OJ to NLEX move to become a possibility, beginning with Road Warriors general manager and head coach Yeng Guiao having an interest in the former SMB import.

    Under PBA rules, NLEX will still need to secure Johnson's release from rival San Miguel to be able to secure the services of the former NBA player.

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    Is Guiao willing to go through all that?

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      "No," came Guiao's flat reply.

      What Guiao won't rule out is the possibility of McDaniels - the league's leading scorer with 30.8-point average through his first 10 games with NLEX - rejoining the Road Warriors during the course of the playoffs.

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      The former Clemson defensive lynchpin is set to leave for the US after NLEX's final game of the eliminations against Barangay Ginebra on Friday to be by her wife's side for the birth of their child.

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        Given the time frame he has discussed with NLEX management, the earliest McDaniels can return would be 'two to three weeks,' according to sources, prompting the ballclub to bring in Euro League veteran Cameron Clark as a replacement.

        Under that time table, Clark must lead an NLEX side that will likely enjoy twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals to a place in the two best-of-five semifinal playoffs before NLEX can even entertain the idea of bringing back McDaniels.

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        Doable?

        Guiao is certainly keeping his fingers crossed.

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