TNT believes that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could play even better moving forward now that the PBA playoffs’ tip-off schedule will be in primetime.
And that’s beginning on Game 4 of its Governors’ Cup semis series versus Meralco on Friday, which will start at 5:45 p.m. in the lone game of the penultimate phase following Ginebra’s sweep of San Miguel Beer.
“The second game and even Game 4, which is going to be at 6 o’clock, it’s going to help Rondae a lot,” offered head coach Jojo Lastimosa.
Wednesday’s Game 3 also began at 5:45 p.m. to serve as the nightcap of a twin bill that earlier saw the Kings beat the Beermen, and that sked boded well for the former NBA cager as he dropped 40 points and 13 rebounds.
For starters, the 28-year-old winger is presently observing Ramadan, where they are obligated to fast every day from dawn to sunset.
Their previous outing saw the Tropang Giga open the doubleheader at 3 p.m. He did put up 27 points and 15 rebounds, but only shot 6-of-20 from the field and missed important freebies that ultimately led to the 124-117 loss.
“I think in the [last] game, I think he really struggled. We don’t want to admit it because by that time we hit the game at 3, he hasn’t eaten anything solid in the beginning at sunrise,” Lastimosa disclosed.
So with the game set in the evening, it gave — and will be giving — him a chance to recharge by eating, particularly during the halftime break.
That’s exactly what he did on Wednesday and that led to his conference-best outing, enabling his side to move on the cusp of the Finals.
“He ate a little bit at halftime,” said teammate Mikey Williams, who had 29 points.
“Has had some food cups. It gave him a little energy.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.