by Jonas Terrado
Blackwater has tapped the services of former Phoenix import Jameel McKay to replace the ailing Alex Stepheson in time for Saturday’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against NorthPort at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Team manager Pat Aquino said McKay is due to arrive Friday morning after the Elite spent the past couple of days scrambling to fill the void left by the hulking Stepheson, who the team said is suffering from a bum stomach.
Stepheson left for the United States before last Friday to undergo checkup, forcing Blackwater to play minus an import during its loss to San Miguel Beer.
“It’s unfortunate that Alex will be replaced,” said Aquino. “But then again Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy, the management and coaching staff are more concern with Alex’s health.”
McKay averaged 23.8 points, 17.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.1 blocks for Phoenix in the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup highlighted by a 42-point performance against Alaska.
The 26-year-old will try to match the production of Stepheson, who posted 22.2 points, 22.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in six games this conference.
Blackwater currently holds a 5-2 record for third place behind co-leader TNT KaTropa and NorthPort which sports similar 6-1 slates.