MANILA, Philippines – If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
TNT is following the same formula that brought it back to relevance in the PBA by tapping the services of former NBA player KJ McDaniels as import for the season-ending Governors' Cup.
Former NBA veteran Terrence Jones helped propel TNT to its first finals appearance in two years before the squad fell prey to San Miguel in 6 games of the best-of-seven Commissioner's Cup championship series.
While the title defeat still stings, TNT consultant Mark Dickel said the team will be moving forward with McDaniels as they seek to secure the last championship of the season.
"The finals loss to SMB is not easy to move on from. However, today is a new day. They won yesterday. We have to win the next conference," Dickel told Rappler through text.
"KJ, we anticipate [him] having a big impact for us on both ends."
The two import-laden conferences set different height limits, with the Governors' Cup allowing foreign players with a maximum height of 6-foot-5.
McDaniels was drafted 32nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014 before being traded to the Houston Rockets – where he became teammates with the 6-foot-9 Jones – the following year.
The 26-year-old was then shipped to the Brooklyn Nets and spent some time with the Grand Rapids Drive and Oklahoma City Blue in the NBA G League.
An ACC Defensive Player of the Year in the US NCAA Division I, McDaniels has been known for his high-leaping ability and athleticism.
He averaged 5.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in the NBA. – Rappler.com
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.