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Hollis-Jefferson set for 2nd tour of duty with TNT

TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa said 2022-23 PBA Governors' Cup Best Import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is coming back for a second tour of duty with the Tropang Giga for the upcoming Commissioner's Cup kicking off the pro league's Season 48 on October 15.

Lastimosa said the 28-year-old Hollis-Jefferson is expected to arrive in the first week of October and will give him about a week to reintegrate with the team before the opening of the new season.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (No. 14) PBA PHOTO

The 59-year-old Lastimosa said the former Portland Trailblazers forward will be coming off a stint with Jordan national team, where he is coming in as a naturalized player in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

“RHJ (Hollis-Jefferson's initials) coming from Asian Games,” Lastimosa told the Manila Times, while noting the former University of Arizona product will serve as the team's import for the East Asia Super League.

Fresh off leading the Tropang Giga to the Governors' Cup championship this past season, Lastimosa believes Hollis-Jefferson won't have a problem fitting in and competing against taller imports in the Commissioner's Cup.

The Commissioner's Cup allows each team to bring in a 6-9 reinforcement.

Add to that the return of foreign squad Bay Area, which finished a strong second behind eventual champion Barangay Ginebra last season.

“He's used to guarding bigger guys in the NBA. Besides, we will have an extra guy helping him,” Lastimosa shared, referring to veteran slotman Kelly Williams, Dave Marcelo and Poy Erram, who is currently on loan at Gilas Pilipinas.

The versatile Hollis-Jefferson led TNT in dethroning Ginebra during last season's Governors' Cup via its 4-2 Finals series win. The PBA title marked Lastimosa's first as head coach right in his first conference.

Hollis-Jefferson, the 23rd overall pick of the Blazers in the 2015 NBA Draft, submitted averages of 30.4 points, 13.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 2.1 steals in 16 games after coming in to replace Jalen Hudson.

After his TNT stint, Hollis Jefferson went on to play for San German in the Puerto Rican pro league where he averaged 21.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 22 games.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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