PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Hollis-Jefferson unloads 42 vs Blackwater as TNT wins back-to-back

Delfin Dioquino

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Hollis-Jefferson unloads 42 vs Blackwater as TNT wins back-to-back

FADEAWAY. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of the TNT Tropang Giga in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson breaches the 40-point mark for the second time in six games as TNT sends Blackwater reeling to its seventh straight defeat

MANILA, Philippines – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson torched Blackwater to the tune of 42 points and steered TNT to an emphatic 105-96 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, December 15.

Hollis-Jefferson breached the 40-point mark for the second time in six games this conference as the Tropang Giga picked up their second straight victory to hike their record to 4-3.

Also churning out team-highs of 12 rebounds and 8 assists, Hollis-Jefferson took over in a pivotal third quarter, scoring 13 points in the period to help TNT turn a slim 52-51 edge into a commanding 85-68 advantage.

The Bossing trailed by just 7 points, 64-71, before the former NBA player scattered 9 points in a 14-3 burst that opened an 85-67 lead.

Even with Hollis-Jefferson carrying the scoring cudgels, the Tropang Giga spread the wealth as four other players finished in double figures, with veteran guard Jayson Castro showing the way for the locals with 18 points.

Castro also tallied 5 assists off the bench, Calvin Oftana put up 14 points and 8 rebounds, Kib Montalbo netted 10 points and 7 assists, while Glenn Khobuntin added 10 points.

“We talked about it a lot – about guys being ready, being locked in, and being able to put the ball in the basket. And the guys came today ready to do that, came today focused,” said Hollis-Jefferson, who made 14 of 28 shots.

The consecutive wins bode well for TNT as it shoots for its first win in the East Asia Super League (EASL) when it hosts Taiwanese club Taipei Fubon Braves at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna on Wednesday, December 20.

Riddled with personnel woes, the Tropang Giga remain the only winless team in the EASL with a 0-4 card.

Puerto Rican import Chris Ortiz chalked up a double-double of 25 points and 20 rebounds, but his efforts went down the drain as Blackwater absorbed its seventh straight loss and slipped to 1-7.

The Bossing have not won for over a month since they opened the conference with a dominant 103-84 victory over Converge in November.

Rey Suerte recorded 13 points and Troy Rosario had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists to backstop Ortiz.

James Kwekuteye (10 points) and Archie Concepcion (2 points) debuted for Blackwater after fulfilling their commitments with their teams in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

The Scores

TNT 105 – Hollis-Jefferson 42, Castro 18, Oftana 14, Khobuntin 10, Montalbo 10, Tungcab 6, K. Williams 2, Galinato 2, Aurin 1, Ponferrada 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Heruela 0.

Blackwater 96 – Ortiz 25, Suerte 13, Rosario 12, Ilagan 10, Kwekuteye 10, David 7, Ayonayon 5, Hill 4, Ular 4, Guinto 2, Concepcion 2, DiGregorio 0, Escoto 0.

Quarters: 29-26, 52-51, 85-68, 105-96.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.