Christmas eyes PBA comeback after winless stint with Magnolia
MANILA, Philippines – Rakeem Christmas wants another crack at the PBA after his brief stint with Magnolia ended in an early playoff exit.
The American import saw action in just 3 games in the Commissioner's Cup as Magnolia suffered a sweep from Barangay Ginebra in their best-of-three quarterfinals series on Tuesday, July 23.
"I definitely want to be here. I had fun playing here. It was quick, I just got here last week and now I'm leaving already," Christmas said following their 80-106 loss.
"I was talking to everybody and I'm definitely trying to come back next year, be here earlier, just be here in better shape for everybody. I don't know what's going to happen the rest of the year for me, so we'll see."
Losing 3 straight games in the middle of the conference, Magnolia had Christmas – a former NBA player for the Indiana Pacers – to replace James Farr in an attempt to arrest its skid and make a deep playoff run.
But the move did not bear fruit as Christmas failed to lead the team to a victory, averaging 13.7 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 3 games.
That, though, may have a lot to do with Christmas not playing organized basketball for almost a year to spend time with his girlfriend Jasmine Jordan – daughter of NBA legend Michael Jordan.
"I took the year off to be with my fiancé. She was pregnant. I was just working out the whole time. It definitely affected my game. I haven't played damn near the whole year," he said.
"Just being able to come out here and be aggressive and contribute as much as I could, that was a good thing for me."
Should he get a callback from Magnolia next season, Christmas looks to make more impact.
"It's a great team to be on. Everybody's welcomed me here. It's definitely a great league to be in. I just want to come back next year and just try to be as dominant as I can." – Rappler.com