Fil-Am Mikh McKinney honored with Iverson comparisons
MANILA, Philippines – Fil-Am star Mikh McKinney cemented his hold on the scoring throne in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
With reigning ABL World Import MVP Anthony Tucker out with a Jones fracture, McKinney decided to take matters into his own hands for the Macau Black Bears against defending champion Alab Pilipinas.
Sizzling all night, McKinney finished with an eye-popping 50-point explosion on a 17-of-29 (58%) shooting with 7-of-13 (53%) coming from beyond the arc.
It was the most points scored in an ABL game since Malaysia’s Marcus Marshall dropped a league record 60 markers in 2017.
However, the effect of Tucker’s loss could not have been more emphasized as Macau still fell in a 101-96 comeback assault by Alab, who remained a spotless 12-0 at home.
Still, McKinney’s career-best outburst definitely caught the attention of Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag, who likened the 27-year-old guard to basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.
“Incredible,” Alapag raved. “I told him after the game, 'I've been around this game for a long time and I've seen a lot of good point guards.' He's up there on the top. He scored 40 on us in Macau then drops 50 a week later. Again, a lot of those shots were contested.”
“He is just a big-time shot-maker,” he continued. “He competes every possession. I know he plays for Macau but he has that Filipino spirit too. Again, I hate to see him drop 50 on us but I'm always going to respect a great performance from a great point guard.”
The high praises overwhelmed McKinney.
“That’s crazy. I mean, first of all, Jimmy is a legend in his own right so it’s an honor for him to just appreciate my game,” McKinney.
“And to compare me to the guy that I looked up to growing up, Allen Iverson, it was just an honor. I watched Allen Iverson clips before the game. That’s the guy I try to model my game around and it’s an honor to be mentioned like that with him and from a guy like Jimmy. It’s a big honor.”
McKinney definitely put on a show in his homecoming to the Philippines, but he said it was just all business as he tried to make up for Tucker’s loss.
“I was just trying to get the win for my team,” he said. “With losing Anthony Tucker, that’s tough for us. He was a big part of our team so I just tried to do whatever I could out there to try and help my team win. The ball started falling through the basket and just kinda got it going a little bit. But like I said, I was just trying to help my team get the win.”
The last time Tucker was in the rotation, the Black Bears were an entirely different animal as they dealt a 116-103 loss to Alab, their worst beating so far in ABL Season 9.
However, Tucker would not be available for Macau for the rest of the regular season, as he was given a 4 to 6 week timetable to recover just last Monday, March 4.
But with the Black Bears already headed to the playoffs, McKinney emphasized that everyone has to step up as the elimination round winds down.
“We gotta adjust a lot,” he said. “He was our leader. He got us into our offense, he kept everybody in check. So he did a lot. Coming off an MVP season, he’s our most valuable player so we had to adjust a lot. It was a big loss for us.” – Rappler.com