The real MVP: Hollis-Jefferson perfect cure to TNT’s Governors’ Cup miseries
MANILA, Philippines–TNT team owner Manny V. Pangilinan was over the moon after his club toppled Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup championship series on Friday night.
“It’s good to win it,” he said with a smile after the Tropang Giga conquered the defending champions, 97-93, in Game 6 at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
“It has been a while. The last championship was during the (Bacolor) bubble so that’s what, two years ago already? And considering this is Ginebra—a very strong and well-coached team,” he added.
The championship was actually the first Governors’ Cup title for the franchise throughout its PBA existence. A glut of TNT’s crowns came in the Philippine Cup. The team managed to snare a couple in the second conference but always came up empty-handed in the season-ending tournament.
Until Friday night.
According to Pangilinan, TNT’s drought in the Governors’ Cup was due to reeling in the wrong reinforcement.
“We had a series of getting imports who are not so good,” he said. “One of the things we reminded the coaches was to get really better imports.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, an NBA veteran, proved steady for TNT after replacing Jalen Hudson halfway through the tournament. The former went on to win Best Import and eventually lead TNT—alongside Mikey Williams—to the promised land.
Hollis-Jefferson finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds and six assists to go with Williams’ 38 points and seven rebounds.
“It’s a good thing they managed to get Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) because he’s a really good import. He blends with the team … a good leader and I think he motivated the team very well.”