KENNY Adeleke showed his defense can make up for a sub-par offense on Wednesday night when Phoenix beat NLEX, 118-106, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Fuel Masters import scored just 18 points on a poor 8-of-21 shooting, but held the fort on defense by grabbing 20 rebounds and blocking two shots
He also had a hand in limiting Al Thornton to 27 points after the Road Warriors reinforcement scattered 50 points against Ginebra last week.
“He’s great athlete and great scorer, so I have a lot of respect for him,” Adeleke said of Thornton. “But I was telling the guys to send him over to me, because I didn’t want him to get another fifty-point game.”
Adeleke didn’t have to dominate on offense as the Fuel Masters drew plenty offense from their locals especially from RR Garcia, who scored a career-high 33 points.
“We played hard together as a team,” said the 6-foot-8 Nigerian big man, who still rued his poor shooting from the field as well as the free-throw line, where he missed all but two of his attempts.
“I didn’t play in a few months, so it’s probably a little rust,” he admitted. “But in practice, I make all my free throws and layups, so it just happens in first games sometimes.”
“I was satisfied we got the win, but individually, I thought I could’ve played better,” he added. “I’m going to put in a lot of work….It’s about getting the timing back.”