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Rhodes admits TNT defense slowed him down, but fouls threw him off rhythm

05:11 PM June 22, 2017

Charles Rhodes. PBA IMAGES

Charles Rhodes took full responsibility for his failure to sustain his hot start in Game 1 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Wednesday.

After dropping 21 points in the first quarter for San Miguel, the mercurial reinforcement found himself scoreless in the next two periods, where TNT capitalized and took the lead.

“I just got out of rhythm. TNT did a great job on me and I got to do better. I got to step up,” he said.

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Rhodes mustered 31 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists in the Beermen’s sorry 104-102 defeat to the KaTropa.

However, he felt he could have contributed more if he didn’t find himself in early foul trouble.

The 31-year-old earned two quick fouls at the start of the second half and got his fourth with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter. Rhodes’ woes complicated a potential Beermen uprising, as Joshua Smith had to be subbed out twice due to his nagging foot injury.

“I didn’t step up in the second and third quarter and I let my team down. I just got to do better next game cause I let my team down,” he said.

Rhodes, though, echoed coach Leo Austria’s sentiments that some of the calls charged against him were soft fouls.

“This is the Finals, so you got to let us play. You know, the fouls I got in the second and third quarter affected the game and threw my rhythm off, threw the team’s rhythm off and I couldn’t get no scoring. I had to comeback, cold then hot, cold then hot, and it just messed my rhythm up the whole game,” he said.

Still, Rhodes knows that the Beermen need  to make the necessary adjustments if they want to equalize the series on Friday.

“We just got to be more efficient and help my team more. Like I said, I let my team down. Even though I was getting fouls on me, it was throwing my rhythm off. The fouls really affected my game,” he said before making a bold statement.

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“We must win next game. We must win.”

Game 2 is on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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