CHARLES Rhodes gave himself the perfect birthday gift as he towed San Miguel Beer to a 109-97 win over TNT KaTropa in Game Three of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Sunday night.
The SMB import registered 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 20 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and block, and the victory on the day he turned 32 – and in the presence his wife and mother, who flew in to watch his son play overseas for the first time.
“It's great man. Words can't really describe it,” Rhodes said. “I need to put on a better show, you know, but it was a good show today. As long as we got the win, that's all that I care about.”
Rhodes produced his 20-20 numbers despite going into foul trouble in the fourth quarter, going out after picking up his fifth foul with just a little over three minutes gone by in the payoff period, coming back only at the 3:42 mark with his team already enjoying an 11-point lead behind the locals.
“Just wanted to come out and work hard,” the 6-foot-8 Galveston, Texas native said. “Just try to help my team and I did that. My team took care of the rest, I just added a little bit.”
“We came in with the same mindset,” he added. “Just work hard, play hard, and everything fell the right way.”
Rhodes again outshone his TNT counterpart Joshua Smith, who did bounce back from a poor performance with 18 points and 14 boards in 24 minutes. The SMB import said he would be surprised if TNT decides to change their import.
“It will be crazy if they do because Joshua Smith is so dominant, one of the most dominant big men I ever played against,” Rhodes said. “That's up to them, I'm not over there. I'm over here in SMB.”
And he’s reminding his team not to get ahead of themselves.
“We gotta take it one game at a time. It's a seven-game series,” Rhodes said. “That's a great team over there so we gotta take every game, one at a time, one at a time.”