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Texters, Fuel Masters enlist new imports

New PBA imports Jameel McKay of Phoenix and TNT's Louis Amundson. | AP file photos

MANILA, Philippine – TNT KaTropa and Phoenix Petroleum have enlisted new imports in time for the Texters’ PBA Commissioner’s Cup debut against the Meralco Bolts on Friday and for the Fuel Masters’ second game against the Star Hotshots on Wednesday.

Ten-year NBA veteran Louis Amundson, who last played in the big league with the New York Knicks last season, was to leave Denver, Colorado yesterday and is to fly in today.

Meanwhile, Jameel McKay, fresh from a title run with the Perth Wildcats in the Australian league, is already in town and has joined the Fuel Masters in preparation for their game against the Hotshots at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Eugene Phelps put in monster numbers with 53 points and 21 rebounds to lead Phoenix to a 118-116 double-overtime win over Blackwater at the Cuneta Astrodome Saturday.

Phelps, however, couldn’t stay long as he’s got prior commitment to play in Puerto Rico. The veteran PBA import hopped in and played one game with the Fuel Masters coming from the Taipei league.

McKay, however, could well bring a lot more on the table for Phoenix, being taller than Phelps at 6-foot-9 and younger at 24. Phelps, the Fuel Masters’ import in the Governors Cup, is a shade below 6-5.

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The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native made a reputation as a solid two-way player while playing first for Indian Hills CC then with Iowa State.

He was a two-time First Team NJCAA All American with Indian Hills (2012 and 2013) then made the All Big 12 Third Team and bagged the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year with Iowa State in 2015.

He ended his stint with the Iowa State Cyclones with good all-around averages of 11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 0.7 assist and 0.6 steal, underscoring his capability to score and defend.

He brought his stuff in Australia after being left undrafted in the last NBA Draft.

Amundson, on the other hand, is a veteran who showed his wares in the NBA from 2006 to 2016, playing first for the Utah Jazz then with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, the Golden States Warriors, the Indiana Pacers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Chicago Bulls, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Knicks.

The 6-foot-9 power forward out of UNLV has NBA career averages of 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds. Among his career highlights was a 17-rebound performance last year against the San Antonio Spurs.

TNT actually has two prospects as a replacement to Denzel Bowles. The other guy is still working on his release from the Puerto Rican league.

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