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MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said he was baffled by the actions of former TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson which sparked a late bench commotion that marred their PBA game on Friday, January 5.
Hollis-Jefferson and Guiao figured in a verbal spat with under a minute left in the Elasto Painters’ 119-112 win after the former NBA player stood behind the Rain or Shine bench to vent his ire on the referees.
Frustrated after his brother and new Tropang Giga import Rahlir got called for a contentious shooting foul and a subsequent technical foul, Rondae approached the Elasto Painters bench to argue with the officials.
That move, though, did not sit well with Guiao as he exchanged heated words with Hollis-Jefferson, who needed to be pulled away by several TNT players.
“I was surprised he was behind our bench,” said Guiao. “That’s disrespectful. Totally disrespectful. Nobody does that.”
“I don’t know if I’ve seen that in my 33 years of coaching in the PBA, that somebody – in the heat of the game – just goes behind the bench. That’s our area. We had staff behind our bench. That’s a dangerous thing to pull.”
Rondae got sidelined after sustaining a neck injury following a bad fall in their East Asia Super League victory over the Taipei Fubon Braves last December 20.
With Rondae unable to return under PBA rules, the Tropang Giga replaced him with his older brother Rahlir.
Rahlir did not disappoint and dropped 50 points in his PBA debut with 16 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, although his foul on Rain or Shine import Demetrius Treadwell and technical foul for resentment to a call proved crucial.
Treadwell sank both of his foul shots and Rey Nambatac drained the technical free throw as the Elasto Painters erected a 115-106 lead en route to their fifth straight win and an outright quarterfinal berth in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Hindi ko alam anong nangyari sa kaniya, tinopak ‘yung gago,” said Guiao. (I don’t know what happened to him. He went mad.)
“It was a beautiful game, the fans would love a game like that so maybe he just got emotional or frustrated. But you don’t take it out that way.”
No thanks to the loss, TNT slipped to 4-6 and fell into a precarious race for the last playoff berth against sister team NLEX, which totes a 3-6 record. – Rappler.com