MANILA, Philippines–Rondae Hollis-Jefferson didn’t mince words when asked about TNT’s chances against Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
“I’m a competitor. If you put me up against anybody, I like my chances,” Hollis-Jefferson said after the Tropang Giga’s 107-92 win that sealed their 3-1 series win over the Meralco Bolts in the semis.
Hollis-Jefferson has his reasons to be confident—or brash in the minds of many Ginebra fans—after a performance that put TNT to a fifth Finals appearance in the last eight conferences.
The former NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets finished with 42 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals in a performance that came despite fasting due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
He did admit how challenging it was to deal with playing while observing the ritual, particularly in Game 2 when TNT suffered a 124-117 overtime loss that evened the series.
“The biggest adjustment was…really breathing,” he said. “I know that one game when we lost, I kinda snapped a little bit.
“But the last couple of games, we’ve been calm, trying to stay together, kinda stay locked in. And that’s how you can control your breathing, control your life. And we’re doing a good job,” added Hollis-Jefferson.
TNT and Ginebra won’t start their series until April 9, giving Hollis-Jefferson more time to recharge his batteries and prepare for another grueling battle ahead.
Huge support from the locals, particularly Calvin Oftana, Mikey Williams, Jayson Castro and Poy Erram who all played crucial in Game 4, will also be important for the Tropang Giga as they take a crack at ending the Gin Kings’ reign as winners of the season-ending tournament.
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