PBA Commissioner’s Cup

KJ McDaniels glad to be on Meralco side after repeated heartbreaks

Delfin Dioquino
KJ McDaniels glad to be on Meralco side after repeated heartbreaks

REINVIGORATED. The arrival of KJ McDaniels gives Meralco new hope in its playoff bid.

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KJ McDaniels comes out triumphant in his Meralco debut after being on the receiving end of the Bolts' wrath in his first two stints in the PBA

MANILA, Philippines – For once, KJ McDaniels is glad to be on the same side as the Meralco Bolts.

The former NBA player now reinforces Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup as a replacement for Johnny O’Bryant after being on the receiving end of the Bolts’ wrath in his first two stints in the league.

“It is a blessing to be with coach (Norman) Black and I appreciate him having me, bringing me in,” said McDaniels.

“They took me out the first two years, got me out of the playoffs and I lost to them [during my] last conference.”

McDaniels first saw action in the PBA for TNT in the 2019 Governors’ Cup, but they were given the boot by Meralco after five semifinals games.

When McDaniels joined NLEX for the 2021 Governors’ Cup, one of their only three losses in the elimination round came at the hands of the Bolts, who put to waste his 41-point, 12-rebound masterpiece.

Meralco then came calling as it acquired McDaniels’ services with hopes of reviving their playoff bid after suffering their worst six-game start in four years that saw the Bolts compile a 1-5 record.

“It is good to be on this side and learning from coach Black and other players,” McDaniels said.

Bucking his shooting woes, McDaniels came out triumphant in his Meralco debut, putting up 31 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks as they stunned erstwhile league-leading Bay Area in a come-from-behind 92-89 win.

McDaniels credited his teammates for keeping his confidence up even as he missed 22 of his 33 field goals in the victory that stopped the Bolts’ three-game skid and raised their record to 2-5.

“They picked me up and they still had confidence in me. They were telling me to keep shooting the ball,” said McDaniels.

“Credit to those guys, they picked me up when I was down throughout the game. It is a blessing to be back. I’m happy to get a W against a top team.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.