‘Poor man’s Lebron’ Hollis-Jefferson keen on making teammates look better

New TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played as good as advertised in his first PBA game, proving that the Tropang Giga did not make a mistake of tapping him in place of high-scoring reinforcement Jalen Hudson.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson proves to be as good as advertised. (PBA Images)

The six-year NBA veteran simply did a little bit of everything with 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists but what even impressed head coach Jojo Lastimosa was Hollis-Jefferson’s willingness to move the ball around.

“We know that’s one of his skills he knows how to pass. He had I think one triple-double in the NBA and that’s I think in the highest stage so ibig sabihin marunong talaga syang pumasa,” Lastimosa said of Hollis-Jefferson.

“Sa klase ng game niya, he drives, he attacks the defense, and he is a willing passer. Not only that. We also improved our coverage on the interior. You can see that in the first half, maganda. Although when the game is out of reach, we have a tendency to relax. But I was happy with what I saw tonight,” he added.

For the part of Hollis-Jefferson, he said he was just trying to be an all-around player and involve his teammates which definitely has enough firepower with the likes of Mikey Williams, RR Pogoy and Calvin Oftana.

“I like to look at myself and say I’m like a ‘poor man LeBron’ where it’s about making your teammates better and making the game flow. And then when the team needs me to score, be able to do that as well. That’s something I try to focus on,” said the 28-year-old forward.

Even with the strong offensive performance, Hollis-Jefferson added that his priority is to help facilitating the ball and setup his teammates – something that Pogoy seemed to have benefitted the most after dropping 40 points in the 138-116 win over Blackwater

“At the end of the day, I feel that the focus is on the import a lot of times. I think the import makes it more about them than it is to be. Sometimes, we want to overshoot. We may have a guy who is open. I think it makes it easier that they bring me in and facilitate and pass the ball so that they can get easier shots,” explained Hollis-Jefferson.

“If they are flowing and feeling good, now, I can count on them and be on the help side and communicate with them if they do make a mistake defensively or vice-versa because we are all sharing the ball and having fun. You saw the smiles out there. That’s what it’s all about,” he stressed.