Phoenix taps NBL champion Jameel McKay to replace Eugene Phelps

March 20, 2017

by: JC Ansis

(Photo from the Perth Wildcats’ Facebook page)

The Phoenix Fuel Masters will continue their campaign in the 2017 Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a new import.

Phoenix will bring in Jameel McKay, who played for Perth Wildcats in the National Basketball League, as a replacement for temporary import Eugene Phelps, Fuel Masters coach Ariel Vanguardia confirmed to sports5.ph.

The development was first reported by the Philippine Star’s Nelson Beltran on Twitter.

Phelps is set to leave for Puerto Rico after dropping 53 points and grabbing 21 rebounds in the Fuel Masters’ double overtime win over Blackwater on Saturday.

“Yes, we decided to play Jameel Wednesday against Star,” Vanguardia said. “We thank Eugene for joining us right after playing in Taiwan despite the short notice but because he needed some rest before he joins his team in Puerto Rico on March 29th, it would be best to sit him out Wednesday.”

The 6’9″ McKay will come to Phoenix fresh from Australia’s National Basketball League where he led the Wildcats to a championship early this month. He also saw action in the 2016 NBA Summer League, averaging 7.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for the New Orleans Pelicans.

“He just arrived 11:00 A.M. today and practiced with the team this afternoon,” Vanguardia said. “His team won the championship in Australia.”

The 24-year-old McKay played college ball for Indian Hills Community College from 2011 to 2013 and Iowa State from 2014 to 2016. He was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.

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