San Miguel will give new import John Holland more chances to prove his worth.
Holland, who previously played in the NBA for the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, had a disappointing debut for the Beermen as the 31-year old American could only come up with 10 points, on 4-of-13 shooting, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in 37 minutes of action in the team’s 91-85 loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last Saturday at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
The road game defeat was crucial as it dropped the Grand Slam-chasing squad to 5th place (6-4) in the team standings with only the game on November 20 against TNT remaining on its elimination round schedule.
SMB veteran Chris Ross, however, sees no need to press the panic button and remains confident that Holland will bounce back from his unimpressive first game once he gets familiarized with the team and with the playing conditions.
“He flew in from a straight flight from New York which was a 16-hour flight,” said Ross. “He landed on Friday, and you know how Friday traffic is, so he went from the airport to the PBA office to get measured. From the PBA office, he went to Makati for GAB and medical and everything. Then after that, he went back to the airport and got on the flight and landed in Cebu around 8:30pm.”
“So it was like a full 24-hour, maybe more of traveling and I think he slept for maybe two hours and then try to a play game in an out-of-town gym which is obviously the condition that is not what’s he used to. He tried to play an out-of-town game with no practice, no knowing how we play so he was in a lose-lose situation. He did what he could. He played hard, he was out there playing for almost 40 minutes. I thought we couldn’t ask more from him,” added the 3rd overall pick in the 2009 PBA rookie draft.
While the fate of Holland and the team going into the next round is still up in the air, Ross believes that the arrival of the NBA G-League veteran will eventually have a positive effect on the team’s campaign in the ongoing conference.
“He competes, he plays hard, he’s a really good passer and he’s really a good shooter. He’s a nice guy who gets well with everyone. Moving forward, he’ll be a positive for us,” said Ross.