Jojo Lastimosa moves on from crucial Rondae Hollis-Jefferson misses: 'Ganun talaga ang buhay'

Jojo Lastimosa sees Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's clutch misses in the end as something normal in life that can quickly move on from. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

ANTIPOLO—With 21 seconds left in regulation, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson fished a foul from Bong Quinto while taking a three-point attempt, giving the TNT import a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with the team down, 109-112.

However, as fate would have it, Hollins-Jefferson sorrily missed the second of his three charities, and he knelt down in frustration following the miss as his team might need to foul to stop the clock.

Hollins-Jefferson had a chance to atone for himself as he was sent to the line again after a Chris Newsome foul to stop what could have been the potential game-winner off a Chris Banchero turnover.

Once again, Hollins-Jefferson botched a free throw attempt, and TNT could only force overtime against Meralco in Game 2 of the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals at the Ynares Center here.

In the extra five minutes, the Tropang Giga were shut down for three minutes and the Bolts pulled away for good.

Worse, Hollins-Jefferson missed a third free throw in his last seven attempts, capping what had been an off night for him.

While going 15-for-20 from the free-throw line was decent enough, the charities made up for most of his 27 points as he was held to 6-of-20 field goals.

However, those clutch free-throw misses weighed more than having to bleed for his six made field goals.

Despite that, TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa said that those missed charities are just one of those unlucky moments for the former NBA veteran.

"It happens. Who wouldn't wanna make those free throws? Na-miss lang talaga. Ganun talaga ang buhay," said Lastimosa, who during his playing days from the late 80s to the early 2000s was known for being a clutch player.

However, he admitted that he is now concerned that Hollis-Jefferson's fasting period could take a toll on him, especially since the Tropang Giga are in the playoffs.

Hollis-Jefferson, a Muslim, is joining the rest of the Islamic community in commemorating Ramadan, in which they have to fast for one full month.

Ramadan began on Thursday and will run until late April, which means should TNT steal the best-of-five semifinal series against Meralco, now tied at 1-1 with Game 3 on Wednesday night and Game 4 on Friday afternoon both at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Hollis-Jefferson would have to endure playing while fasting until the finals.

"Ang concern ko sa kanya is how long he can last in a high-intensity game like that," Lastimosa said of Hollis-Jefferson, who only rested for seven basketball minutes out of 53 in Game 2.

Despite the potential match fitness issues that could arise, Lastimosa wouldn't mind giving Hollis-Jefferson another long playing time like the 46 minutes he had on Sunday night with the series now down to a best-of-three.

"It's the playoffs. Pagdating ng playoffs, wala nang pahinga-pahinga," Lastimosa said.

Reporters inside the Ynares Center tried to reach out to Hollis-Jefferson, but he declined to give an interview.

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