Barangay Ginebra import Othyus Jeffers was a beast in the first half for his team during their match against Rain or Shine Sunday night.
He already had 23 points after two quarters and had his fingerprints everywhere as he crashed the boards, hustled for 50-50 balls, and defended well on the other end.
The crowd was very appreciative of his efforts, and he was applauded even more when he returned in the fourth quarter after hurting his back in the third period.
“I felt it when (Beau) Belga hit me, he hit me twice, he gave me a nice one to pop it the other way. But that’s basketball. Either you break down or fight through it,” Jeffers shared, mentioning how physical the game was although he had nothing against the Elasto Painters.
“He is solid. I feel like every bone in my back cracked,” he added in jest. “I thought I can walk it through but by the time I got to their bench, I broke down. But it’s basketball.”
Jeffers winced in pain on his way out and received treatment on the end of the Ginebra bench. Later, he made his way back to the scorer’s table, and the noise became even louder.
The reinforcement once again thanked the fans for the extra push, making the sacrifice worth it as Ginebra defeated Rain or Shine, 103-92, to break into the win column.
“Everytime the ball went down, you always heard the NSD fans. Before I got here, a lot of fans hit me on Twitter and always gave me the heads up how passionate the fans are. When I got here they welcomed me with open arms,” Jeffers, who finished with a double-double of 38 points and 20 rebounds, said.
“I love it here. Hopefully I stay.”
Jeffers also lauded his teammates for the overall effort the team had given yet again. Ginebra had more rebounds (54-44), assists (20-16), second chance points (10-6), and points in the paint (52-40) over Rain or Shine, showing more promise this time around.
“Today, they had a nice little lead to give me a rest. My teammates, we have a lot of weapons. (The last game) we missed easy buckets but we played great team basketball,” Jeffers shared.
“Chris (Ellis) stepped up big time. LA (Tenorio) made some key steals and buckets. Joe (Devance) has been putting a lot of extra work the past week, you saw today.”
Moving ahead, Jeffers hopes the team improves when it comes to execution and taking care of the ball. If Ginebra go on to accomplish such tasks, the import believes they can contend with anybody.
“We just have to clean up on our turnovers. We are getting unnecessary turnovers. Hopefully we can turn it into more points. It also starts with this team. If we can play defense, we can beat anybody.”