Wreaking havoc throughout the eliminations phase of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT Katropa’s import Terrence Jones took on another challenge last night, going toe-to-toe with another former NBA player and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok new import Rakeem Christmas.
Heading into the game, most pundits believed Jones may have found his match, as the former Indiana Pacers forward had the skills, size, and experience to take on the Best Import of the Conference frontrunner.
But after the dust settled in Araneta last night, the two imports’ performances couldn’t have been more different, as Jones continued to thrive, while Christmas seemed totally lost with the Philippine brand of basketball.
FOX Sports Philippines breaks down the performances of the two high-profile imports last night.
Still no stopping Jones
Winners of eight consecutive games in a row, the Katropa secured the number one seed after handing Magnolia a 98-83 sound beating. Jones was once again at the forefront of the attack, finishing two assist shy of another triple double performance. The former Houston Rockets starter notched 26 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, and five blocks.
Matching up against a fellow former NBA player didn’t seem to bother the 27-year-old lefty, making 47 percent of his field goal attempts (9-of-17) in 41 minutes of action. Jones simply outclassed the debuting Christmas on every aspect last night, as he posterized and rejected his counterpart’s shots on several occasions.
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Jones also got a lot of help from his teammates last night, as RR Pogoy (20 points), Jayson Castro (13), and Brian Heruela (13) all finished in double figures.
No Christmas in July for Magnolia
Arriving in the country just a few days ago, Christmas looked sluggish in the 33 minutes he spent on the court. His unfamiliarity with Magnolia’s system as well as his teammates was quite evident last night, only making two of his 10 attempts from the field (20 percent) and tuning the ball over five times.
The Syracuse-product only pitched in eight markers, but he did corral 14 boards and dished out three assists. Luckily for Christmas, he will get a chance to atone for his subpar PBA debut when Magnolia faces sister team Barangay Ginebra in a best-of-three Quarterfinals series.
(Images from PBA Media Group)