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    Phoenix import Kenny Adeleke makes mark on defense to atone for 'rusty' offense

    Feb 17, 2016
    Kenny Adeleke had 18 points and 20 boards in his debut for Phoenix. Jaime Campos

    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.”

    [See We got overconfident, admits Asi Taulava]

    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.”

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    Kenny Adeleke had 18 points and 20 boards in his debut for Phoenix. Jaime Campos
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