New Zealand withstood Hollis Jefferson’s Kobe-like performance to secure an overtime victory 94-87.
A few days ago, Rondae Hollis Jefferson channeled Kobe Bryant in game one in Manila, going viral and captivating the Filipino crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena. With 7,331 fans creating RHJ madness, New Zealand held a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Freddy Ibrahim and Hollis Jefferson rallied Jordan, narrowing the gap to just one point with five minutes remaining. Despite New Zealand’s five-point lead in the final minute, Hollis Jefferson’s heroics shone.
He drew a foul on a three-pointer, sank all three shots, and then, trailing by four points with 10.7 seconds on the clock, he made a remarkable fouled three-pointer to force overtime. The stands echoed with “Kobe! Kobe!” chants.
However, the overtime period favored New Zealand. Jordan faltered, and Izayah Le’afa’s steal and three-pointer secured the lead for New Zealand, guided by Shea Ili.
“It means a lot, it’s an honor,” said Rondae Hollis-Jefferson about the ‘Kobe!’ chants in the arena and the shot to send it to overtime. “There definitely was only one Kobe, but to feel that love and that energy coming down the stretch, hitting those big shots – God was with me, and Kobe was with me, for sure.”
Are you ready to witness some of the best basketball action in the world? Then you don’t want to miss this video! Watch Rondae Hollis Jefferson, the star of Team Jordan, as he shows off his amazing skills and highlights in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: