JUST like a good soldier, import Ricardo Ratliffe said he’s ready to do whatever Star Hotshots needed from him in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign.
Even if it meant being a stand-in replacement for resident import Denzel Bowles.
“I’ll just do my job as long as they need me,” said Ratliffe following his Philippine debut on Sunday night in the Hotshots’96-88 win over Tropang TNT at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ratliffe arrived in the country on Saturday morning as a temporary replacement for veteran Denzel Bowles, who had to leave for the US on short notice following a death in the family.
But the 27-year-old native of Hampton, Virginia immediately made a case for himself by finishing with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists in a 38-minute job in just the Hotshots’ second win in six outings.
And the 6-foot-8 import said local fans hadn’t seen the best of him.
“I didn’t play my best. I’ll get better,” he stressed. “But it's pretty good, we won.”
Even Star coach Jason Webb seemed to have given the nod on Ratliffe, a former Jones Cup MVP.
“Ricardo has impressed us today. He gives us a dimension that’s very different,” he said.
Still, Ratliffe is not about to take things easy, stressing he’s here to play at the pleasure of the Hotshots.
“If they told me to go home, I’ll be ready to go home even tomorrow,” said Ratliffe with a stoic face.