MANILA, Philippines – With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson still recovering from a neck injury sustained in a recent game, TNT Tropang Giga’s head coach Jojo Lastimosa has announced that Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, his brother, is set to step in for the final two games of the PBA Season 48
Commissioner’s Cup elimination round in January. Rondae’s absence has been felt since the injury occurred during an East Asia Super League match against Taipei Fubon in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Despite their recent Christmas Day loss to Ginebra, Coach Lastimosa expressed confidence in Rahlir’s capabilities, emphasizing the need for the team to adapt and perform well in Rondae’s absence. The upcoming games will provide an opportunity for Rahlir to showcase his skills and contribute to TNT’s performance as they aim for success in the remainder of the Commissioner’s Cup.
When it comes to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s return to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT Tropang Giga is enforcing a club rule that keeps him out of the conference. PBA rules state that an import can only be substituted once, and TNT’s original plan was to start the former NBA center. But Hollis-Jefferson’s gastroenteritis forced former EASL import Quincy Miller to fill in for him in the season opener against Magnolia. Hollis-Jefferson’s tour of duty was cut short despite his return following the Hotshots game because of a terrifying neck injury he suffered during an East Asia Super League assignment versus Taipei Fubon.
The fact that the team chose to hold off on bringing him back for the balance of the conference shows that they were cautious and put the player’s health and welfare first. TNT will need to rely on Quincy Miller and other team members to fill in for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as they continue their PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign, as this development poses a new obstacle for them.
He’s extremely flimsy, Lastimosa declared. “He is unable to turn his neck, and I spoke with the doctor yesterday. You don’t take spinal cord injuries lightly because, despite the discomfort, they are still physical games.
“He ran the risk of being shaken up again and hurting his neck. We’re taking a conservative stance and genuinely defending Rondae’s professional standing.”
In addition, Hollis-Jefferson is unlikely to play in their EASL home match on January 24 at the Philsports Arena against Anyang Jung Kwan Jang.
“It’s not even the EASL match on January 24 yet, so maybe Rondae won’t be able to play,” Lastimosa stated. Thus, we may need to experiment with a single import.