By REYNALD MAGALLON
For someone who had played against some of the world’s best in the sport, it’s only natural for TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to remain cool and fully motivated even his team is up against a talented.
That was evident Friday as he outshone Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee in a vital showdown in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Brownlee is fast emerging as one of the greatest reinforcements in the league.
But Hollis-Jefferson is unbothered – not by Brownlee’s massive career achievements in the PBA nor the legion of fans behind the charismatic import. The former NBA player simply knew what he’s capable of.
“No discredit to Justin, but I’m good. You can put LeBron in front of me, I’m good,” said Hollis-Jefferson when asked about the challenge of taking on the Kings import.
Hollis-Jefferson did walk the talk, scattering 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals as helped TNT to 114-105 come-from-behind win over Ginebra. He was also in the middle of the blazing 16-1 run in the final frame which he capped with a left-handed slam in transition over Ginebra’s Jayson David.
Brownlee refused to be outdone though, making a good account of himself as well with 27 points and 10 rebounds across the board although the Kings totally collapsed in the waning minutes of the contest.
Hollis-Jefferson though still tipped his hat-off to Brownlee for a thrilling duel he, himself, admitted that he enjoyed.
“It’s good. He’s a phenomenal player, knows how to get to his spots, plays really well with his team, and 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.
Brownlee was made aware of Hollis-Jefferson comments but the Gilas naturalized player didn’t make a fuss about it, saying that’s only a natural mentality when one tries to compete.
“In order to win or beat somebody you got to think that way. He should feel he’s better than me like any other import,” said Brownlee.