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Magnolia’s Rakeem Christmas eager to bounce back after forgettable PBA debut

Rakeem Christmas had a forgettable PBA debut for the Magnolia Hotshots.

Already reeling from 3 consecutive losses, the Hotshots absorbed another one – an 83-98 beating at the hands of Terrence Jones and the streaking TNT KaTropa as Christmas could only manage 8 points on a horrendous 2 of 10 shooting to go along with 14 boards and 3 assists in 34 minutes of action.

“I’m not satisfied with that game at all. It was my first game back in a while,” said the 6-foot-9 former Indiana Pacers forward.

“Just have to get that out of the way and improve in the next game, get ready for the playoffs. Just gotta put that behind me and just move on,” added Christmas.

The 27-year old out of Syracuse University, however, only has a couple of days before plunging back into action as the Hotshots are set to meet Brgy. Ginebra in a best-of-three quarterfinal series starting Saturday, July 20 at the MOA Arena.

“They told me they’re a very good team so I’m going to go back to the hotel, eat, watch some YouTube and film on them and just get ready,” said Christmas on the upcoming match-up.

Fortunately for Magnolia’s 3rd import in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, a familiar figure is also in town and similarly playing in the league, former Syracuse Orangemen teammate and current SMB import Chris McCullough.

“He’s been telling me about the league and all the things to look out for. It’s great having him out here because there’s always someone you can talk to,” said the 36th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Rookie Draft.

“We’re in the same hotel. I know he’s a big Jollibee fan right now. I gotta hit that spot eventually so we’ll see.”

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