PBA Governors' Cup

Hollis-Jefferson downplays Brownlee matchup, zeroes in on winning first-ever title with TNT

Delfin Dioquino

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

Hollis-Jefferson downplays Brownlee matchup, zeroes in on winning first-ever title with TNT

BLOCKBUSTER. Star imports collide as Justin Brownlee (left) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson face each other in the PBA for the first time.

PBA Images

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson gets the better of Ginebra star Justin Brownlee, but the matchup does not appeal much to the TNT import in terms of additional motivation

MANILA, Philippines – Whether it is LeBron James or Justin Brownlee, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is only focused on the bigger picture no matter who his opponent is.

The former NBA player said he is fueled by his desire to win his first-ever professional championship as he helped propel TNT to the top of the PBA Governors’ Cup after a 114-105 win over Barangay Ginebra on Friday, March 17.

Still unbeaten in five games with the Tropang Giga, Hollis-Jefferson ended the elimination round with averages of 31 points, 12 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1 block.

“It’s all about staying ready. I don’t do too much, I don’t leave my hotel room except for when we got practice. I work hard, pretty focused, pretty determined,” said Hollis-Jefferson.

Hollis-Jefferson did not play competitive basketball for almost an entire month as TNT took a break from its Governors’ Cup campaign due to the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Unable to secure the necessary visa, Hollis-Jefferson then only managed to watch the Tropang Giga go winless in the East Asia Super League Champions Week in Japan.

But the 6-foot-6 forward hardly showed rust in his return to PBA action, steering TNT to wins over NorthPort and Ginebra as it clinched the top seed with a 10-1 record.

“I told coach, the players that I haven’t won a professional championship. So the drive, the determination to do that has kept me in a zone,” he said.

On a mission, Hollis-Jefferson got the better of three-time Best Import Justin Brownlee as he finished with all-around numbers of 34 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals.

Brownlee, on the other hand, chalked up 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists in the losing effort.

“He’s a phenomenal player, knows how to get to his spots, plays really well with his team, has a really high IQ so it was good to play against one like him. I liked it. I liked it a lot,” said Hollis-Jefferson.

The matchup with Brownlee, though, did not appeal much to Hollis-Jefferson in terms of additional motivation.

“No discredit to Justin, but I’m good. You can put LeBron in front of me, I’m good,” he said.

Armed with a twice-to-beat armor, Hollis-Jefferson and the Tropang Giga eye an immediate entry to the final four when they take on eighth seed Phoenix in the quarterfinals on March 22 at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

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

Summarize this article with AI
Download the Rappler App!
Person, Human, Clothing

author

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.