Chris McCullough seems to have found a new home in the Philippines after helping San Miguel Beer to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title. One of the most successful clubs in the professional cage loop, SMB did the trick when they wrapped up the best-of-seven series against a Terrence Jones-led TnT KaTropa quintet last Wednesday.
McCullough story is a bit different since he came in as a replacement for Charles Rhodes. At that time, the Beermen were slowly being scratched out from the PBA title picture. That was until the 24-year-old made his presence felt right in his very first game. He unloaded 47 points against the NLEX Road Warriors and clearly showed he was a better fit for the team, ABS-CBN reported.
Now that his Philippines stint is over, McCullough is scheduled to fly over to Korea and play for KGC next season. Aside from that, the 29th pick of the 2015 Draft is still hoping to get a call to play in the NBA. If not, there is one new option on the table – get naturalized and play for the Philippine national team.
Apparently, McCullough is open to the idea if the Gilas Pilipinas quintet considers him for naturalization, Rappler.com reported. At present, it is Andray Blatche who is reinforcing the national team. The 49th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft may only be 32 but is obviously not getting any younger.
“I want to play man. If I get naturalized, I want to play. It’s an opportunity for me so I’d love to play,” said McCullough who many are hoping will return next year. That would depend on his availability.
“Hopefully I’ll be back in the NBA by next year. But if not, I’m back with SMB.”
Seeing how the Philippines is in dire need of a big and agile big man, McCullough could be a perfect fit. June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar are two legitimate big man while Blatche has his on and off days. Also, the former Washington Wizards has other commitments such as playing in the Chinese Basketball Association. These are factors that the local basketball governing body needs to take into consideration if the Philippines is to regain its place in world basketball rankings.