Game Notes: Group A – TNT Tropang Giga (0-4) vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (1-2)

December 19, 2023

4 mins

Game Notes: Group A – TNT Tropang Giga (0-4) vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (1-2)
Game Notes: Group A – TNT Tropang Giga (0-4) vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (1-2)

Written by EASL

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Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson joins brother Rondae in EASL

December 20, 2023 – City of Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex, Laguna, Philippines

Storylines:

  1. Will two RHJs give TNT a boost?

TNT Tropang Giga signed star Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s older brother, Rahlir, as their second EASL import after the departure of Quincy Miller. Miller signed for Japanese B.LEAGUE club Toyama Grouses after the end of TNT’s last EASL game against Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters.

Rahlir is a 32-year-old power forward who played for Temple University for four years before turning pro in 2013. He’s had multiple stints in the NBA G League, having suited up for the Delaware 87ers, Northern Arizona Suns, and Memphis Hustle. He last played in Korisliiga, the highest tier of professional basketball in Finland, for Kataja Basket Club.

The two will look to replicate the success of another EASL brotherly duo, Jeremy and Joseph Lin of New Taipei Kings, as the RHJs hope to find TNT’s first win in EASL this season.

  1. Fubon look to keep Final Four hopes alive

As Group A stands, the Braves are third with one win, which came at home against this week’s opponents TNT. The Braves lost to both Chiba and Anyang in October. Chiba top the group with four wins and look certain to qualify for the Final Four. However, in theory, they could still miss out if all results went against them.

EASL Champions Week champions Jung Kwan Jang are currently at two wins with three games in hand.

Fubon need more wins to secure their spot in the Final Four.

  1. Braves struggling domestically

Defending P. LEAGUE+ champions Taipei Fubon Braves have not yet shown championship form this season.

The team currently hold a 1-2 record in EASL and a mediocre 4-4 domestically.

Outside of going 3-0 against Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers, Fubon have gone 1-4 against the rest of the league in the P. LEAGUE+.

Will another win against TNT jumpstart the Fubon season?

By the Numbers

TNT Tropang Giga (Philippines – PBA)

- Team History:

  • Founded: 1990
  • 9 PBA Championships (1998 Centennial, 2003 All-Filipino, 2008-09 Philippine Cup, 2010-11 Philippine Cup, 2011 Commissioner’s, 2011-12 Philippine Cup, 2012-13 Philippine Cup, 2015 Commissioner’s Cup, 2021 Philippine Cup, 2023 Governors’ Cup)
  • 22 PBA Finals appearances

- 2022-23 PBA Governors’ Cup

  • 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup Champions
  • Elimination Round: 10-1 record, 1st in PBA
  • First on offense: scored 115.9 points per game
  • Playoffs: defeated Phoenix Super LPG 132-105 in quarterfinals; defeated Meralco Bolts 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 4-2 in Finals

- EASL 2023-24 Season record: 0-4

  • October 11, 2023: 93-75 loss against Chiba Jets (B.LEAGUE)
  • November 1, 2023: 75-66 loss against Chiba Jets (B.LEAGUE)
  • November 15, 2023: 106-97 loss against Taipei Fubon Braves (P. LEAGUE+)
  • December 6, 2023: 105-97 loss against Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 28.3 ppg
  • Rebounds: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 7.7 rpg
  • Assists: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 6.7 apg
  • Steals: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 2.0 spg
  • Blocks: Calvin Oftana & Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 1.0 bpg

- EASL 2023-24 Season upcoming games:

  • Home vs. Taipei Fubon Braves (P. LEAGUE+) – December 20, 2023
  • Home vs. Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL) – January 24, 2024

- EASL History:

  • 2023 EASL Champions Week: TNT went 0-2, losing to B.LEAGUE side Utsunomiya Brex and KBL side Seoul SK Knights
  • 2019 Terrific 12: TNT went 1-1, falling to CBA side Liaoning Flying Leopards and beating B.LEAGUE side Niigata Albirex

- 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Season record: 4-4

  • November 5, 2023: 110-102 loss against Magnolia Hotshots
  • November 11, 2023: 101-98 win over Converge FiberXers
  • November 22, 2023: 133-93 win over Terrafirma Dyip
  • November 26, 2023: 109-95 loss against Meralco Bolts
  • December 1, 2023: 128-123 loss against NorthPort Batang Pier
  • December 13, 2023: 113-97 win over NLEX Road Warriors
  • December 15, 2023: 105-96 win over Blackwater Bossing
  • December 17, 2023: 98-93 loss against San Miguel Beermen

- 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 33.4 ppg
  • Rebounds: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 12.0 rpg
  • Assists: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 5.7 apg
  • Steals: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 2.0 spg
  • Blocks: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 1.3 bpg

Taipei Fubon Braves (Chinese Taipei – P. LEAGUE+)

- Team History:

  • Founded: 1982
  • 3x P. LEAGUE+ Championships (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • 1x SBL Championship (2019)

- 2023 P. LEAGUE+ Champions

  • Regular Season: 25-15 record, 2nd in P. LEAGUE+
  • Playoffs: defeated Taoyuan Pauian Pilots 3-0 in semifinals; defeated New Taipei Kings 4-2 in finals

- EASL 2023-24 Season record: 1-2

  • October 18, 2023: 82-85 loss to Chiba Jets (B.LEAGUE)
  • October 25, 2023: 98-77 loss to Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL)
  • November 15, 2023: 106-97 win over TNT Tropang Giga (PBA)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Michael Singletary – 27.5 ppg
  • Rebounds: Michael Singletary – 14.0 rpg
  • Assists: Sedrick Barefield – 5.3 apg
  • Steals: 4 players – 2.0 spg
  • Blocks: Chris Johnson – 2.0 bpg

- EASL 2023-24 Season upcoming games:

  • Away vs. TNT Tropang Giga (PBA) – December 20, 2023
  • Away vs. Chiba Jets (B.LEAGUE) – December 27, 2023
  • Home vs. Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters (KBL) – February 7, 2024

- EASL History:

  • 2023 EASL Champions Week: Braves went 0-2, losing to KBL side Anyang KGC and B.LEAGUE side Ryukyu Golden Kings
  • 2018 Terrific 12 (an EASL competition): Braves went 1-1, defeating CBA side Shandong Golden Stars and losing to KBL side Seoul Samsung Thunders

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ Season record: 4-4

  • November 11, 2023: 89-96 loss against New Taipei Kings
  • November 12, 2023: 115-94 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • November 19, 2023: 89-86 loss against Formosa Dreamers
  • November 26, 2023: 99-84 win over Hsinchu Lioneers
  • December 2, 2023: 90-76 loss against Formosa Dreamers
  • December 9, 2023: 93-80 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • December 16, 2023: 111-104 win over Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers
  • December 17, 2023: 103-102 loss against Hsinchu Lioneers

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ Season stat leaders:

  • Points: Igor Zaytsev – 18.6 ppg
  • Rebounds: Stephen Zimmerman – 11.0 rpg
  • Assists: Michael Singletary – 5.5 apg
  • Steals: Lin Chih-Chieh – 1.2 spg
  • Blocks: Michael Singletary & Chris Johnson – 1.0 bpg

Players to Watch

TNT Tropang Giga

#14 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – SF

- USA NCAA Division 1: Arizona (2013-2015)

  • 2015 First Team All-Pac-12
  • 2015 Pac-12 All-Defensive Team
  • 2014 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team
  • 2014 NCAA Tournament West Region All-Tournament Team

- Former NBA player (Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers)

  • 2015 NBA Draft: 1st round, 23rd overall pick – Portland Trail Blazers
  • NBA career stats: 9.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg; NBA career-best season: 13.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg (Brooklyn Nets – 2017-18)

- 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup Champion (TNT Tropang Giga)

  • 2023 PBA Governors' Cup Best Import of the Conference (TNT Tropang Giga)

- 2013 McDonald’s All-American; 2013 Jordan Brand Classic

- 2016 5-star high school recruit

- Jordan Men’s National Basketball Team (2023 FIBA World Cup)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 25.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 6.7 apg

- 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup season stats:

  • 33.4 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 5.7 apg

Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson – PF

- USA NCAA Division 1: Temple (2009-13)

- Former NBA D-League / G League player (Delaware 87ers, Northern Arizona Suns, Memphis Hustle)

- Canada: NBL - Orangeville A’s

  • 2016 NBL Defensive Player of the Year

- Previous teams played:

  • Luxembourg (LBBL: AB Contern)
  • Finland (Korisliiga: Kataja Basket Club)
  • Hungary (Nemzeti Bajnokság I/A: OSE Lions)

#12 Calvin Oftana – F

- University: San Beda University (Philippines NCAA)

  • 3× NCAA Philippines champion (2016–2018)
  • 2019 NCAA Philippines MVP
  • 2019 NCAA Philippines Mythical Team

- 2020 PBA Draft: 3rd overall pick - NLEX Road Warriors

  • 2023 PBA champion (Governors' Cup)
  • 2023 PBA All-Star (2023)
  • 2023 PBA Second Mythical Team
  • 2021 PBA All-Rookie Team

- Philippines National Team

  • 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (Gold Medal)
  • 2023 Phnom Penh Southeast Asian Games (Gold Medal)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 15.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.3 apg

- 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup season stats:

  • 19.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.0 apg

Taipei Fubon Braves

#5 Chris Johnson – PF

- USA NCAA Division 1: Louisiana State (2005-2009)

  • 2009 SEC All-Defensive Team

- Former NBA player (Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves)

  • NBA career stats: 71 games – 2.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg

- Former NBA D League player (Dakota Wizards, Santa Cruz Warriors)

  • 2011 All-NBA D-League First Team
  • 2011 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2011 NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team
  • 2011 NBA D-League All-Star

- Chinese Taipei: P. LEAGUE+ - Taipei Fubon Braves

  • 3x P. LEAGUE+ champion (2021, 2022, 2023)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 23.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 2.0 bpg

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 17.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 bpg

#17 Michael Singletary – PF

- USA NCAA Division 1: Texas Tech (2007-2011)

- Former NBA D League player (Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Erie Bayhawks)

  • 2013 NBA D-League champion (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

- Chinese Taipei: P. LEAGUE+ - Taipei Fubon Braves

  • 3× P. LEAGUE+ champion (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • 2× P. LEAGUE+ Finals MVP (2021, 2022)

- Thailand League: Mono Vampire

  • 2017 Thailand League champion
  • 2017 Thailand League MVP
  • 2x Thailand Basketball Super League (2017, 2018)
  • 2018 Thailand Basketball Super League MVP

- Italy: Serie A2 - Basket Ravenna Piero Manetti

  • 2015 Serie A2 Basket All-Star

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 27.5 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 2.0 spg

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 18.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg

#2 Sedrick Barefield – PG

- USA NCAA Division 1: SMU (2015-16), Utah (2016-19)

  • 2019 First-Team All-Pac 12 (Utah)

- Former NBA G League player (Oklahoma City Blue)

- Previous teams played:

  • Lithuania (LKL: Nevėžis Kėdainiai)
  • Greece (GBL: Apollon Patras)
  • Chinese Taipei (T1 League: Tainan TSG GhostHawks)
  • EASL (Bay Area Dragons)
  • Guinea (BAL: SLAC)

- EASL 2023-24 Season stats:

  • 19.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.0 spg

- 2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ season stats:

  • 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.0 spg

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