Kevin Murphy feels blessed to have found a way back into the Philippines after losing almost all the connections he built during his first PBA stint.
The 32-year-old said that he really hoped for another rodeo after that run with San Miguel in 2018, but it took him about half a decade to see it come into fruition when the one who made his Beermen campaign happen passed away.
Murphy was a client of the late Sheryl Reyes, who is best known for bringing some of the best imports in the league — including Justin Brownlee.
“She was the one who got me over here,” he told Tiebreaker Times. “She did everything for me. She was really great. Unfortunately, she passed. And so when she passed, I lost all communication from the Philippines.
“I had no way to get in contact with no one,” he added. “I was talking to her significant other for a little bit, but nothing really came about.”
Murphy would see himself flying to Dubai (Shabab Al-Ahli) and Bahrain (Muharraq), back home to the States for a short stint with the NBA G-League Ignite, and back to Asia again to Kuwait to play for Kazma after that PBA run.
The Atlanta native, though, always knew he wanted to go back to the Philippines given a chance. Luck would side with him, much to his delight.
Big thanks to Facebook, he found an agent named Roger Jimenez, and immediately reached out to him to, of course, seek help regarding his plan. Days later, the NorthPort offer came his way and grabbed it right away.
Technically, he has no one to thank but former Beermen head coach Leo Austria for finding a way to regain connection to the country.
“Man, it’s crazy,” Murphy recalled. “Coach Leo from San Miguel, I follow him on Facebook. And he took a picture with somebody that said I’m an agent over here in the Philippines, and just signed… I forgot which player it was.
“So, I just reached out to him like, ‘Hey, do you think you can get me over in the Philippines? I’m trying to come back over here.’ And then within three days, four days, this came up,” added the Tennessee Tech product.
Murphy has now played three games with NorthPort and Saturday saw him lead his new team to its second straight win in the Governors’ Cup, dropping 47 points and 16 rebounds to help the Batang Pier past Blackwater, 110-104.
Now, he’s hoping that it would be a sign of better things to come for the ball club, who began the conference with six consecutive losses.
The 11-year veteran has his fingers crossed, too, that it would lead to the realization of his aim of staying in the country longer.
“It’s going well for me,” he said. “I’m back here now. I would love to stay over here for a while. We’re going to see what happens.”