• May 30, 2023

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson back in character with big Game 3 showing for TNT – rezal404

TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson leads Tropang Giga in Game 3 win.  —PBA PICTURES

TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson leads Tropang Giga in Game 3 win. —PBA PICTURES

MANILA, Philippines—Coach Jojo Lastimosa hailed the bounce-back performance of import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in TNT’s 99-80 victory on Wednesday to go up 2-1 over Meralco in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series.

Hollis-Jefferson recorded a PBA high 40 points with 13 rebounds after missing crucial free throws in regulation three days ago when the Tropang Giga suffered a 124-117 overtime loss.

“He understood that he had a terrible game last game,” said Lastimosa. “He only shot 36 percent. If not for his free throws, I think it was out of character for Rondae.”

The former NBA cager had 27 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks in Game 2, but Lastimosa admitted that his observance of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has been a factor, particularly when TNT games are played in the afternoon.

But with the Tropang Giga slated to play in the evening the rest of the way, Lastimosa sees it as beneficial for Hollis-Jefferson.

“We don’t want to admit it because by that time we hit the [first game] at 3 pm, he hasn’t eaten anything solid in the beginning at sunrise,” he said. “[But with] Game 4, which is going to be [5:45 p.m.]it’s going to help Rondae a lot.”

Mikey Williams, who also stepped up with 29 points including a pair of threes that doused cold water on Meralco’s comeback bid in the fourth, can’t imagine how tough it is for the TNT import.

“We’re just trying to be there as best as we can and try to conserve all of his energy as best as we can,” said Williams.

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