PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Top pick Stephen Holt unfazed by shooting struggles in PBA debut

Delfin Dioquino

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Top pick Stephen Holt unfazed by shooting struggles in PBA debut

TOP PICK. Stephen Holt in action for the Terrafirma Dyip in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Stephen Holt, the No. 1 selection in the last PBA Draft, fails to hit the mark in his league debut as Terrafirma absorbs a narrow loss

MANILA, Philippines – Top pick Stephen Holt will not lose sleep over his shooting woes in his PBA debut.

Holt failed to hit the mark and finished with 11 points on a paltry 2-of-9 clip as Terrafirma absorbed a 108-103 loss to NorthPort to kick off its Commissioner’s Cup campaign on Friday, November 10.

An experienced player who saw action in the NBA G League, National Basketball League in Australia, and in various leagues all over Europe, the 6-foot-4 Holt fired blanks, missing all of his five attempts from beyond the arc.

But Holt believes he will soon rediscover his touch.

“I know the spotlight is on me, being the first pick and there are certain expectations that are put on our group. I’m still going to embrace that,” said Holt.

“It is just one loss. I thought I had a pretty good preseason. I got better every single game, had high-scoring games, so I’m not going to let this one game affect me. I’m known as a shooter, I put in work my whole entire career.”

Holt made up for his shooting struggles by making his presence felt in the other departments.

The 31-year-old guard also posted 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals against just 1 turnover in a team-leading 38 minutes of action.

“I just wanted to do a little bit of everything, gets steals, rebounds, assists. I was able to get to the free throw line. Tonight, my shot did not fall,” said Holt.

“I’m just trying to feel it out with the team, just got to be a little more aggressive.”

The loss marked the seventh straight time the Dyip lost their conference opener as they absorbed their eighth consecutive defeat dating back to the Governors’ Cup last season.

But Holt, a nine-year professional who has gotten used to the highs and lows of a basketball season, said Terrafirma should not be discouraged.

“Just one loss, we cannot put our heads down. It is a long season,” said Holt. “We just got to keep working hard and I know we will.” – 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.