THE Malaysian Pro League (MPL) is fast becoming an import’s haven for Rain or Shine.
The Elasto Painters are bringing in another product of the fledgling league in neighboring Malaysia after tapping the services of Kayel Locke as a replacement for Joel Wright in the PBA Governors Cup.
Locke, 25, has just led Farmco to a title repeat in the MPL, the same tournament where Rain or Shine discovered Carl Montgomery, who steered the franchise to the semifinals of the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup.
Coach Caloy Garcia said he did ask Montgomery about Locke, a product of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, upon seeing him play in the Malaysian league.
“May agent na nagbigay ng name niya (Locke) and then we watched some of his games,” Garcia related. “Nagkataon that we saw Carl na kalaban niya so I asked Carl about him.”
Aside from helping Farmco defend its title, Locke also propelled Landstede Basketball Zwolle to the franchise’s first Dutch Basketball League Championship.
He also had stints in Kosovo, Latvia, and Estonia.
Locke had his first practice with the Elasto Painters on Tuesday, just three days following their 103-99 loss to TnT Katropa.
The setback against TnT saw Wright lose his temper late in the game by intentionally tripping Troy Rosario that led to him sitting out the rest of the match after being called for a flagrant foul penalty 1.
Garcia admitted Wright’s unsportsmanlike foul proved to be the turning point of the game as the Elasto Painters lost for the second straight time in three outings.
Wright is in his second tour of duty in the PBA after previously suiting up for Star Hotshots in the 2016 edition of the Governors Cup.
Locke is expected to suit up for Rain or Shine when it takes on defending champion Magnolia this coming Friday.