RICARDO Ratliffe said he would rather achieve the team goal than earn individual accolades after Star's 109-105 win over San Miguel Beer in Game One of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series.
The Hotshots import delivered as usual with 26 points, 21 boards, three assists, three steals, and one block in foul-plagued 37 minutes as he anchored the middle while the Hotshots snipers found their marks.
His 20-20 performance also allowed him to pad his lead in the statistical points standings for the Best Import race.
Ratliffe, though, is more focused on leading the Hotshots to the Promised Land.
“It’s not a big deal,” the 28-year-old American slotman said after the game. “It’ll be a good accomplishment. I got it in Korea this past year so it’ll be cool to get two in one year.”
“If I don’t then I don’t care,” he added. “I’m trying to get a championship.”
And Ratliffe likes the Hotshots’ chances better after drawing first blood on the mighty Beermen.
“I like it a lot,” the returning Star import said. “We got a great coach, we got great players. We gotta adjust some things because we almost gave it away in the end. We’re gonna go practice tomorrow and look at some film and just figure out little things that we could to play a better game because that’s a tough team.
“And we know they’re gonna do the same thing,” he added. “I like our chances a lot but we’re still going against San Miguel – that’s a great team.”
Ratliffe said defending SMB counterpart Charles Rhodes and reigning MVP June Mar Fajrdo would be a tough task without the help of the Hotshots’ local big men Ian Sangalang, Rafi Reavis, and Aldrech Ramos.
“They got the twin towers over there,” Ratliffe said. “I just wanna give a lot of credit to Ian, Raffy and Aldrech because they’re down there fighting those guys with me. Without them, it’s gonna be way harder.”
“Charles had a great game but he felt the defense of Ian and Aldrech and Rafi because those guys are great defenders,” he added. “He had a great night but I still tip my hat to my other bigs for playing good defense on him.”