HE has a reputation as a high-scoring player, but Ginebra import Leon Rodgers said he’s determined to prove that he is more than just someone who could score a bundle of points.
“I don’t want to be the typical import that comes in and just want to score 50,000 points,” said the 6-foot-5 Rodgers. “But I want to be able to be the guy who can lead us (Gin Kings) where we’re supposed to be led and be consistent for my team. I think that’s what will gonna equal championship.”
Rodgers made the statement in light of his disappointing first two games with Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup that saw the Kings slip to an even 1-1 card.
While Ginebra fans are hopeful Rodgers’ stellar credentials could translate to a championship that would finally end the team’s six-year title drought, Rodgers said it will take a team effort to turn that dream into reality.
“I’m pretty vocal. You can hear me on the court and I think the loss (to San Miguel last week) is a good wake-up call,” said the 33-year-old former Northern Illinois standout.
“The first game (against Barako Bull), we didn’t play well. We hit some shots down the stretch and free throws, but we didn’t play well in the first game.”
Before arriving at Ginebra, Rodgers has been sensational during his stint with the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), averaging a team-best 29.1 points on an impressive 54.2 field goal percent shooting clip and a 40.1 percent shooting from three-point territory.
But all the impressive stats seemed to have vanished during his first two games in the PBA after struggling to find his range against Barako Bull and San Miguel Beer.
His two-game aggregate includes 32 points and 9.5 rebounds, numbers that remain unacceptable for many Ginebra fans simply because he is shooting just 38 percent from the field (19-of-50), including a paltry 2-of-17 from beyond the arc.
The three-time Dutch League MVP said fan disappointment is understandable because of his poor shooting.
“Right now, I can say in the (two) games, I’ve had open looks, but it (shots) just hasn’t fallen for me. But the rest of my game, trying to figure out how the Philippines, how the referees ref (officiate) the game, those things I seem to be figuring out,” he said.
“But the rest is up to me as far as making the jump shots. That also attributes to sometimes, not being able to make some runs in the three pointers,” Rodgers added.