Mar 19, 2023

Hollis-Jefferson: Man on a mission for TNT

RONDAE Hollis-Jefferson is focus on helping the TNT Tropang Giga win the PBA Governors' Cup championship.

As he himself admitted, he hasn't won a championship as a pro, and that alone serves as extra motivation for the former NBA player selected in the first round of the 2015 draft.

"I told coach Jojo (Lastimosa) and the players that I haven't won a professional championship. The drive, the determination to do that has kept me in the zone," said the 28-year-old product of the University of Arizona basketball program.

So far, Hollis-Jefferson and the Tropang Giga are on track of their goal as they emerged as the top seeded team going to the playoffs of the season's final conference.

They did it by rallying past reigning champion Barangay Ginebra, 114-105, in which Hollis-Jefferson finished with an all-around game of 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

Sponsored content:
The import, who remained unbeaten in five games since taking over the spot of high-scoring Jalen Hudson, came through with the impressive numbers despite being inactive for about a month as TNT took a break from its campaign to pave way for the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, and then saw action in the East Asia Super League (EASL) Champions Week in Japan.

Hollis-Jefferson did go with the team in Utsunomiya and Okinawa, but didn't suit up after failing to get his working visa in Japan in time for the tournament.

During that stretch of inactivity, the TNT import said he still remained focus on the task at hand.

"For me, it's mental. It's all about staying ready," he said. "I don't do too much. I don't leave my hotel room except when in practice. I work hard, pretty focused, pretty determined."

And the Tropang Giga are exactly in the same frame of mind as Hollis-Jefferson.

Sponsored content:
"I'm looking forward to compete with the group of guys that we have, coaching staff. It's all about locking in and staying focused. I feel like we do a phenomenal job," said the import.

"From the coach down to the trainers, to the equipment people. I feel like we are locked in and we are all focused."

TNT faces no. 8 seed Phoenix in the playoffs on Wednesday where it enjoys a twice-to-beat advantage. (RG)