RICARDO Ratliffe chose a familiar road over a new path in returning to Star as its import for the remainder of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Supposedly set to play in a month-long tournament in Dubai after his season in Korea came to an end, Ratliffe instead came back to the Phlippines to reinforce the Hotshots again.
“I was thinking of Dubai to see something new, but I decided to go with what I know and that was Star Hotshots,” Ratliffe said after the team's 107-97 win over TNT KaTropa on Wednesday. “I really like the coaching staff and players and everything about them. So I just decided to come back here.”
Hotshots coach Chito Victolero was glad that Ratliffe chose the Hotshots.
“Nalaman lang namin last Thursday na available si Ricardo… Nagbago yung isip niya to go here (instead) and finish the job,” Victolero related. “Very fortunate kami na pinili niya kami.”
And the Hotshots’ import’s familiarity with his former team showed right in his debut as he scattered 37 points, 22 boards, and three blocks in his first game back.
“I like the style of play we play this year,” Ratliffe said. “It's kind of similar last year on offense but now I think the defense is just better. We take pride on defense.”
“That's why we were able to come back tonight against a great Talk 'N Text team,” he added.
After falling short of a championship in Korea where his team lost in Game Six of their title series, Ratliffe is trying to get over the hump – for the Hotshots this time – after the squad fell short of making the semifinals last year, although they took top seed San Miguel Beer to the distance.
“It's a totally different team, but I like them, though,” Ratliffe said.