PBA Governors' Cup

Hollis-Jefferson eyes NBA comeback after steering TNT to PBA crown

Delfin Dioquino

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Hollis-Jefferson eyes NBA comeback after steering TNT to PBA crown

MAIDEN. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson guides TNT to its first-ever PBA Governors' Cup championship.

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'I was a role player once before. Now I know how to lead a team,' says former NBA player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as he wins his first professional title

MANILA, Philippines – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson wants to give his NBA career another crack.

Hollis-Jefferson eyes an NBA comeback after steering TNT to its first-ever PBA Governors’ Cup crown as they disposed of Barangay Ginebra in six finals games with a gritty 97-93 victory on Friday, April 21.

“I would love to play here again. But I don’t know what the future holds,” said Hollis-Jefferson. “I’m definitely going to take another shot at playing in the NBA again. We’ll see how that all unfolds.”

The 28-year-old forward played six years in the NBA, enjoying his best years in Brooklyn where he emerged as a reliable rotation player for the Nets for four seasons.

He also saw action for the Toronto Raptors and the Portland Trail Blazers.

After his run with the Trail Blazers ended following the 2020-2021 season, Hollis-Jefferson pursued an overseas career that took him to Turkey, Puerto Rico, and Korea.

His stint in the Korean Basketball League, though, did not go according to plan as Hollis-Jefferson parted ways with the Jeonju KCC Egis in the middle of the season.

“Things weren’t working out in Korea so I talked to my agent, I was like, ‘Hey is there anything else available?’ That’s when the PBA thing kind of came about,” he said.

“I just like put in faith. It worked out for the best.”

Taking over the import reins from Jalen Hudson in the middle of the conference, Hollis-Jefferson proved to be as good as advertised.

Hollis-Jefferson powered TNT to wins in nine of his first 10 games as the Tropang Giga arranged a championship duel with the Gin Kings – an impressive stretch that allowed him to capture the Best Import honors.

Determined to win his first professional title, Hollis-Jefferson balled out in the finals and averaged 30.3 points, 14.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 2 steals to help TNT hand Ginebra its first finals loss with import Justin Brownlee.

Hollis-Jefferson said his PBA experience will come in handy for his NBA bid.

“I was a role player once before. Now I know how to lead a team. Just showing people I’m able to do whatever they need me to do. I think that’s the big thing about making the transition,” he said.

But first, Hollis-Jefferson revels in his breakthrough championship.

“It hasn’t hit me yet but it’s definitely a great feeling. To win with these guys, that experience is unbelievable.” – 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.