TNT defeats Taipei Fubon Braves 80-69 for Tropang Giga's first EASL win

Photo credit: East Asia Super League (EASL)

The home team, TNT Tropang GIGA (1-4), got their first EASL win as they beat the P. LEAGUE+ champions Taipei Fubon Braves (1-3), 80-69 on Wednesday, December 20, in the 2023-24 EASL Home and Away season at the City of Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

TNT paraded their new second import, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, who is the older brother of TNT star import Rondae, following the departure of Quincy Miller, who signed with the Japanese B.LEAGUE club Toyama Grouses.

Rondae led the Tropang Giga with a double-double, scoring 35 points on 11-of-24 shooting, including 4-of-12 from beyond the arc to go along with 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. Unfortunately, the TNT's prized import suffered an injury, hurting his back in the final 2:45 of the match.

TNT deputy coach Josh Reyes said during the post-game press conference: “It’s mixed emotions right now. We’re happy we finally got that monkey off our backs and finally got that W. But at the same time, all our thoughts and prayers go out for Rondae. We’re very concerned as a unit right now. Good that we got the win, but right now, the concern is Rondae and his well-being.”

Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, in his TNT and EASL debut, finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 22 points (9/22FG, 9/16 2pts, 0/6 3pts, 4/6ft), 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots while Calvin Oftana added 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals as the Tropang Giga stay alive for a semifinal berth in Group A.

In a losing effort, import Chris Anthony Johnson led Fubon with a double-double of 19 points, a game-high 20 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block, while Fil-Am Sedrick Barefield contributed 15 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Stay tuned for more exciting EASL action as the Meralco Bolts (1-2) gears up to face the Seoul SK Knights (1-2) in their upcoming clash on December 27, 2023 (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM, PHL time, hosted at the PhilSports Arena. Secure your seats now as tickets are available via TicketMax.

The scores:

TNT 80 - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 35, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson 22, Oftana 15, Khobuntin 6, Tolomia 2, Aurin 0, Heruela 0, Galinato Jr 0, Ponferrada 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Cruz 0.

FUBON 69 - Johnson 19, Barefield 15, Zaytsev 10, Fan 9, Chou 5, Smart 3, Guinchard 3, Hung 3, Jian 2, Tseng 0, Wu 0.

Quarters: 17-21, 48-42, 62-58, 80-69. [GAME STATS] [HIGHLIGHTS]

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