PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Rondae clarifies late-game frustration directed towards referees, not Rain or Shine

Delfin Dioquino

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Rondae clarifies late-game frustration directed towards referees, not Rain or Shine

SHOT. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in action for the TNT Tropang Giga in the East Asia Super League.

East Asia Super League

Injured TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson says he merely wanted to talk to the referees after his decision to stand behind the Rain or Shine bench ignited a word war with coach Yeng Guiao

MANILA, Philippines – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson meant no disrespect.

The former TNT import said he merely wanted to talk to the referees after his decision to stand behind the Rain or Shine bench ignited a word war with Elasto Painters head coach Yeng Guiao on Friday, January 5.

Upset after his brother and new Tropang Giga import Rahlir got called for a shooting foul and a technical foul in succession, Rondae left his spectator seat and stood behind the Rain or Shine bench to argue with the officials.

But Guiao found the move “disrespectful” and figured in a heated exchange with Hollis-Jefferson before TNT players pulled the former NBA player away.

“I didn’t approach the bench. That’s the issue. That’s the problem. He said that I approached the bench. I’m not approaching the bench,” said Hollis-Jefferson.

“I didn’t say anything to any player. Even when they were still telling me, ‘Get out of here!’ I didn’t say anything to them.”

Hollis-Jefferson took exception to the way Guiao reacted.

“Once the coach said something to me, I looked at him and said, ‘Don’t do that. Don’t do that, bro.’ That’s what I said and he will tell you that. But my frustration was with the ref. I was talking to the ref,” said Hollis-Jefferson.

“Have you ever seen a coach go on the court to a ref? He’s coaching and he does that. Out of frustration as a fan of TNT – I’m a fan of TNT right now – and as a little brother of a person that’s doing really well, I was hurt.”

“My emotions led me to follow the referee. Not your team,” he added. “I have no disrespect to your team. I said nothing to your team.”

Replays showed Guiao flashing his middle finger while Hollis-Jefferson was being escorted away.

“I would never flip you off. I’m sure they got that on camera, him flipping me off. Let’s play that back please,” Hollis-Jefferson said.

Taking the spot of injured Rondae, Rahlir showed out in his debut with a 50-point explosion on top of 16 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

However, the shooting and technical fouls Rahlir incurred with a minute left doomed the Tropang Giga as the Elasto Painters hacked out a 119-112 win to lock up the seventh quarterfinal berth.

Riding on a three-game skid, TNT needs to win it last elimination-round game against Phoenix on January 14 to bolster its chances of securing the last playoff spot. – 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.