TNT gets 56 points from Hudson in stopping Converge run
Import Jalen Hudson may consider himself a capable scorer, but his 56-point performance on Wednesday was still enough to surprise him.
“I’m always kinda known as a scorer, but this is a first in a professional level,” Hudson said after TNT’s 128-122 win that put an end to Converge’s 4-0 start in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
Hudson’s performance at Smart Araneta Coliseum that gave the Tropang Giga a fourth win in five outings—highlighted by his key baskets that allowed them to pull away from the FiberXers—earned plenty of rave reviews and offered TNT hope that the misery of the previous conference is now a distant memory.
“[Maybe in the] top 100?” coach Jojo Lastimosa said when asked of where he ranks Hudson among the imports he has seen dating back to his legendary playing career.
“Imports today are different from way back and imports are so skilled. Jalen is one of those imports that’s very athletic,” he added.
But as impressed as he was with Hudson’s stats line that included a 21-of-31 shooting along with 12 rebounds and four assists, Lastimosa and the Tropang Giga staff are hoping to see their reinforcement produce more than just scoring points.
“The only thing I look at right now is for him to be [an] all-around [player], get the other guys involved,” Lastimosa said. “And he’s gonna eventually figure it out.”
Back in order
The Tropang Giga has already equaled the number of wins they had in the Commissioner’s Cup when injuries and a number of import changes resulted in an unusual early vacation for a team perennially contending for championships.
Things are back in order for TNT, however, thanks in large part to the way Hudson and locals Mikey Williams, RR Pogoy and new addition Paul Varilla are playing.
“Now we have a much-more complete team and we have a more-dynamic import in Jalen,” said Lastimosa.
Converge lost for the first time this conference, spoiling what was also a splendid effort from its import Jamaal Franklin.
Franklin once again showed why he’s among the prolific imports through the third week of the tournament, posting 47 points on 15-of-29 from the field highlighted by nine triples.
He also grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out seven assists and added three steals and three blocks, but the FiberXers ended up seeing their impressive run ground to a halt.