ANTIPOLO CITY - Import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson serves as the thorn on the side of Meralco in its PBA Governors Cup semifinals series against TNT.
Coach Norman Black singled out the former NBA first round pick for dealing the biggest blow to the Bolts in their 110-80 blowout loss in Game 1 Friday night at the Ynares Center.
Black said Hollis-Jefferson has been doing everything for the Tropang Giga not only in terms of scoring as gleamed by his triple-double performance of 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists.
"We have to study the tape and figure out what he's doing offensively, because it's not just his scoring but it's the fact that he's facilitating for his teammates," said Black of the 28-year-old do-it-all import.
"He's giving his teammates wide open shots off his penetrations. Hope we can figure out how we can work defensively against him."
The triple double was the second straight in the playoffs for Hollis-Jefferson, who had 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists as TNT finished off Phoenix in the quarterfinals, 132-105.
It was Hollis-Jefferson who set the tone of the lopsided match as he already had 17 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists at the break against Meralco, by which time the Tropang Giga already sat on a 57-45 lead.
His Meralco counterpart KJ McDaniels finished with a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds, but needs to do more if he is to match up well with Hollis-Jefferson come Sunday's Game 2.
"That's a challenge to KJ. He's up against a very tough import," said Black. "He has to raise his game for us to have a success in this series because the kid is pretty good, a pretty good player." (RG)