Mikh McKinney regained his shooting touch just in the nick of time as the Macau Black Bears blew past Hong Kong Eastern, 93-79, Wednesday night at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
McKinney poured 18 of his team-high 26 points in the final quarter to help the Black Bears nab their second win in a row, spoiling the season debut of Hong Kong. Brandon Edwards also had a strong outing of 25 points and 11 rebounds to help Macau’s cause.
“All the credit goes to our guys. They just clamped up, dug in, played defense,” said Macau head coach Charles Hauntoumakos. “We had a great game plan, but all the credit goes to the guys. They just really did their job, they executed, they gutted it out. It was a really gritty effort on their part.”
The Black Bears were clinging to a four-point lead, 67-63, heading into the fourth period before McKinney found his offense. The league’s leading scorer last season struggled for three quarters against Hong Kong, scoring just eight points. He was also harboring a 2-for-20 shooting clip from beyond the arc in his previous two games. But just when it looked like McKinney was going to have a quiet night, he spearheaded Macau’s game-changing run.
After John Siu’s triple cut Hong Kong’s deficit to just two points, 68-70, the Black Bears went on an 18-0 blast, capped off by a layup from McKinney. Eastern struggled with its offense as they went scoreless for nearly six minutes. Macau enjoyed its biggest lead of 21 points, 91-70, as McKinney hit a booming triple. The Filipino-American guard ended up shooting 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.
“Mike should be a role model for every basketball player. You’re talking about a guy who led the league in scoring and could care less to lead any game in scoring. He just wants to win, That’s all he wants to do,” said Hauntoumakos. “From day one coming in he had no demands. He didn’t want to do anything except to win. That’s all he ever cared about. That’s trickled to the whole team.”
Kenny Manigault, who scored a total of 64 points in his first two games, settled for just 14 points but also added eight rebounds and eight assists. Warren Liang chipped in with 11 points.
For Hong Kong, new World Import Trey Kell had a rousing debut of 31 points and 10 rebounds. However, he was responsible for seven of his team’s 22 turnovers. TJ Price was the only other Eastern player who reached double-figures with 18 points.
The Black Bears improve to 2-1 while Eastern starts its season with a 0-1 record.
“Honestly we have such an amazing group of guys and that’s just a testament to how our guys are,” Hauntoumakos said about his team. “Nobody cares about anything except winning. They’re just a special group, I can’t say that enough. They deserve all the credit. You don’t have any ego on this team everybody just wants to play together, play for wins.”