PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson done for conference as brother Rahlir takes TNT spot

Delfin Dioquino

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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson done for conference as brother Rahlir takes TNT spot

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

East Asia Super League

TNT takes a conservative approach on 'fragile' import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson after he suffered a bad fall

MANILA, Philippines – TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is done for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa said the former NBA player will be replaced by his brother Rahlir as the team takes a conservative approach on Rondae, who suffered a neck injury.

Rondae sustained the injury in their 80-69 win over Taiwanese club Taipei Fubon Braves in the East Asia Super League last December 20, and sat out their 86-78 defeat to Barangay Ginebra on Monday, December 25.

“He’s very fragile. He can’t turn his neck. I talked to the doctor that a spinal cord injury like that, you don’t take that lightly,” said Lastimosa.

“Because even if he doesn’t feel the pain anymore, it’s a physical game. He could get jarred again and he could be injured at that neck again.”

Even if Rondae is able to recover at the soonest possible time, PBA rules prohibit him from coming back as original imports can return only once after they are momentarily replaced.

Rondae missed their conference-opening 110-102 loss to Magnolia due to gastroenteritis, with fellow NBA player Quincy Miller taking his spot, before he made his season debut in a 101-98 overtime win over Converge.

The injury denies Rondae a shot at leading TNT to a second straight title after he starred in their championship run in the Governors’ Cup last season.

A Best Import awardee, Rondae dominated in his seven games this conference, averaging 33.4 points, 12 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2 steals, and 1.3 blocks.

“We’re going the conservative part and actually protecting Rondae’s career,” said Lastimosa.

Toting a 4-5 record, the Tropang Giga seek to win their last two games with Rahlir on board as they try to advance to the quarterfinals. – 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.