PBA Governors' Cup

How did TNT substitute Hollis-Jefferson edge Ginebra mainstay Brownlee for Best Import?

Delfin Dioquino

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

How did TNT substitute Hollis-Jefferson edge Ginebra mainstay Brownlee for Best Import?

TOP REINFORCEMENTS. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (right) edges Justin Brownlee for the Best Import award.

PBA Images

Justin Brownlee won the first of his three PBA Best Import plums as a substitute for Ginebra, a feat replicated by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with TNT

MANILA, Philippines – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson winning Best Import in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup has caused a stir among fans who strongly believe Justin Brownlee should have won considering he played the entire conference.

Hollis-Jefferson joined TNT in the middle of the tournament, playing just 10 games through the semifinals after taking over the import reins from Jalen Hudson, who steered the Tropang Giga to five wins in their first six games.

Meanwhile, Brownlee started the conference for Barangay Ginebra and played in all of the Gin Kings’ 15 games through the semifinals.

Replacement imports bagging the award, though, is not new in the league.

Fact is, Brownlee won the first of his three Best Import plums as a substitute for Ginebra in the 2018 Commissioners’ Cup.

The Gin Kings endured an inauspicious 1-3 start with Charles Garcia before they decided to bring in Brownlee, who went on to lead the team to the championship.

Wayne Chism also achieved the feat in the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup for Rain or Shine, earning the Best Import honors after replacing Rick Jackson.

“I’m sure it was a tough decision. It came down to me and Justin, who is a phenomenal player. A lot of credit to him,” said Hollis-Jefferson.

A six-year NBA veteran, Hollis-Jefferson lived up to the hype as he topped the statistical battle with an average of 57.1 statistical points (SPs) after putting up 30.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 2.2 steals and 1 block.

The former Brooklyn Nets stalwart powered TNT to wins in nine of his first 10 games, including seven straight, all the way to the finals.

His stellar run included back-to-back triple-doubles to open the playoffs and back-to-back 40-point games to cap their 3-1 semifinals victory over Meralco.

Not to be outdone, Brownlee averaged 27.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.1 steals as he finished behind Hollis-Jefferson with 52.5 SPs.

Brownlee propelled Ginebra to the finals for the seventh time in 10 tours of duty in the PBA after spearheading their stunning 3-0 semifinals sweep of San Miguel.

As impressive as Brownlee may have been, though, Hollis-Jefferson still earned the Best Import nod.

Hollis-Jefferson held the advantage over Brownlee in statistics, 619-570, and media votes, 457-320, as he garnered 1,147 points.

Totaling 966 points, Brownlee edged Hollis-Jefferson only in player votes, 76-71.

“I just give my all,” said Hollis-Jefferson. “I’m so focused on the tournament, being the best, and giving my all every time I’m out there. I guess that just helps to be able to perform at the level that I perform at.”

Hollis-Jefferson dedicated his Best Import win to his teammates and family.

“I could not be able to do this without my teammates, without my family sacrificing. I’m missing my kids right now. So all these little things that play a part of being able to win this award, I got to give thanks to those people,” he said.

Now that the Best Import battle is in the books, Hollis-Jefferson and Brownlee dispute the championship as the Tropang Giga and the Gin Kings figure in a 2-2 tie in the best-of-seven series. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Person, Human, Clothing


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.