INCOMING import Wendell McKines expects a lot of drama on Tuesday when Rain or Shine makes its PBA Governors Cup debut against winless San Miguel Beer at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The game marks the first time the two teams will play against each other since Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao and former Elasto Painters import Arizona Reid, now with the Beermen, engaged each other in a heated verbal tussle during a regular Commissioner’s Cup game.
Guiao was eventually ejected from the game for nudging Reid while the import was inbounding the ball right in front of the Rain or Shine bench. The Beermen went on to win the game, 129-114.
McKines was sitting behind the bench of the Elasto Painters when the verbal spat between Guiao and Reid took place.
“I think that’s (game against San Miguel) a lot of drama, but AZ is a great player. He’s a friend of mine and it should be fun,” McKines told Spin.ph after the team’s practice on Monday at the Nega Sports Center in Greenhills, San Juan.
The color surrounding their first meeting and the short elimination round format of the season-ending tournament have convinced McKines that San Miguel will ‘come out swinging’ right from the get go.
“I expect them (Beermen) to come out swinging. I expect them to play hard because we only have 11 games this conference and I expect them to come out like their backs are against the wall,” added the 26-year-old McKines, who first played for Alaska during the 2013 Governors Cup.
And given the way the Beermen opened the season-ending conference with back-to-back losses, McKines expects San Miguel to all the more try to move out of the rut, come out with a victory, and get some momentum.
“We just gotta come out and do what we do, which is play hard,” said the former New Mexico standout, who has been with Rain or Shine for the last two months.
McKines admitted getting mixed feelings playing his first game in a Rain or Shine uniform almost two weeks since witnessing the team lose to Talk ‘N Text, 4-3, in a highly-physical Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
“I’m about 80 percent excited and about 20 percent nervous. But I’m looking forward to it, to the next challenge,” he said.
Noted for his strong inside forays, the hard-banging import is coming off a solid stint with Elitzur Ashkelon in the Israeli League, where he averaged 25.8 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.
McKines’ stats line during his one-conference stint with the Aces included all-around averages of 29.7 points, 15.0 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.