PBA: TNT looking for temporary replacement for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
STA. ROSA, Laguna—Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is doubtful for Sunday’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup opener against Magnolia due to an illness, prompting TNT to make an immediate search for a temporary replacement.
Coach Jojo Lastimosa said the Tropang Giga are hastily searching for a temporary replacement for Hollis-Jefferson, who skipped their East Asia Super League home loss to the Chiba Jets here due to gastroenteritis.
“Rondae’s been sick for a while,” Lastimosa said after the 75-66 defeat at City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex. “He’s so much better now, but this is something that we did not expect.”
Lastimosa added that Quincy Miller, its other reinforcement used solely for the EASL campaign, was tapped as a potential sub for Hollis-Jefferson, but claimed that his release was not granted by Converge.
Miller played for Converge during last season’s Commissioner’s Cup, but his stint ended on a sour note when coach Aldin Ayo benched him for one game due to disciplinary reasons.
“Converge won’t release me. I don’t know why,” Miller said.
Miller finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds against Chiba and would have been a logical option for TNT.
Time is of the essence for the Tropang Giga, who hope to open the new season on the right track against a Hotshots side billed as one of the favorites especially after winning all 11 games in the PBA On Tour a few months back.
“It’s still iffy, we don’t know yet,” Lastimosa said. “But we’re gonna wait for Rondae to get better and we don’t want to put him on the floor not close to 100 percent because it might harm him in the long run.
“So we’re doing it conservatively, bringing in another guy so we can have an import on Sunday,” he added.