After their fruitful rookie run in the ABL last season, Caelan Tiongon and Mikh McKinney shared a court once again. This time, however, they were not on the same side.
Last year, Tiongson and McKinney were instrumental in Chong Son Kung Fu’s semifinals run.
During the off-season, the two went their separate ways, with the 6-foot-5 Tiongson signing with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas and while McKinney remained with the Chong Son franchise, now the Macau Black Bears.
Friday evening, the two met once again. And they reminisced the time they went to Asia and carved their own niche.
“Playing against my former team tonight, I was really excited to the challenge. Anthony [Tucker] and Mikh are two of the best player on this league.
“They’re two guys who taught me how to be professional. And I was really thrilled, just matching up, competing against them,” expressed Tiongson, who averaged 11.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists last season.
“It’s cool to be able to go up against him. He is a friend and a teammate last year, and [it was] just good to see him again,” added McKinney, who himself had norms of 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per contest.
In their first meeting of the season, McKinney finished with 18 points, seven assists, and six rebounds for Macau. It wasn’t enough, however, as Tiongson and Alab were able to pick up a 106-99 victory at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“We lost, so it sucks. We’re in a losing streak right now, [so] we’ll just try to bounce back,” lamented McKinney, who is turning 27 on January 26.
“I have to get out of this slump. I haven’t been playing well lately and I have to my help to get more win.”
“It was fun, I love those guys but I got new brothers now so it was fun to get a win with them,” shared Tiongson, on the other hand.
At the end of the day, the two are just glad to have once again played in front of their fellow countrymen.
“It’s nice to receive the love from the fans always. I really appreciate it,” admitted McKinney, who was ejected late in the game after accumulating two unsportsmanlike fouls.
“When I come out here that you know they notice me and show me love, so much love to all the fans out there.”
“I love playing in front of Filipinos. Filipinos are the best basketball fans in the world. I love playing in front of the Filipinos crowd, I love it,” Tiongson gushed.
“And I hope I can play in front of the Filipino crowd for a very long time.”