PBA: Jalen Hudson ‘up there’ among top imports but Justin Brownlee still yardstick, says Jojo Lastimosa
MANILA, Philippines—Jalen Hudson may be contributing consistently for TNT but coach Jojo Lastimosa still believes Justin Brownlee is the “yardstick” for imports.
After the Tropang Giga’s lopsided win over Terrafirma in the PBA Governors’ Cup tournament, 131-109, Lastimosa admitted that while Hudson may be “right up there,” in the rankings for best import, Brownlee still holds the top spot—for now.
“He’s right up there. He’s not bad. I wouldn’t say that [he’s the best]. Brownlee is still the yardstick now,” said the top coach.
Before Lastimosa said his thoughts on Hudson’s place in the league, Mikey Williams whispered “top two” in jest in the post-game media scrum at Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
The 6-foot-6 cager has been casually dropping 33.4 points per outing for TNT while adding another 36-piece to his collection in the win against Dyip. He also notched six rebounds.
WATCH: TNT’s Mikey Williams and coach Jojo Lastimosa after win against Terrafirma.
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This came just three days after coolly dropping 56 markers in their win over Converge, 128-122, at Araneta Coliseum.
Brownlee, on the other hand, is nearly averaging a triple-double in the season-ending conference with 31.7 markers, 13.7 rebounds and 9.7 dimes per game.
The naturalized Gilas Pilipinas player finished Friday’s game against Northport with 22 points, 15 boards and 12 assists in the 115-100 victory.
Lastimosa, however, thinks that there is still room for improvement for the import, particularly with the way he attacks the basket.
“I think Jalen is aware that he can get a good shot anytime he wants. I only get frustrated when he gets to the basket and he gets out of control,” said Lastimosa.
“I told him he can get shots up anytime he wants, especially around the basket, but he should always stay under control and finish around there,” he added.
Shooting did not seem to be a problem for Hudson on Saturday, though, as he only missed three of his 15 shots for an 80 percent shooting clip from the field.
He also continued to flaunt his three-point shooting prowess, sinking four in the win.
Hudson was also caught in another import-shooting frenzy as Terrafirma’s Jordan Williams scored 38 of his own in the defeat.
“A scorer can always score. Jordan is a really good player and we were okay if he made shots as long as they were contested,” Lastimosa explained.
Unlike Hudson, Williams shot inconsistently from the floor, making only 15 of his 27 tries. He did, however, snagged a double-double with 10 boards to match his scoring.
Williams was on heavy watch from the defense as Tropang Giga avoided him from getting another 57-marker outing, which he had in Dyip’s 119-106 win over Blackwater on Thursday.