Rhodes powered SMB to the crown in the mid-season tournament in 2017 but wasn’t around last year when they unsuccessfully defended the title, giving him extra motivation to do an encore performance.
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Rhodes: I’m back to defend my crown
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After providing morale support to his San Miguel teammates in their triumphant five-peat run in the PBA Philippine Cup, balik-import Charles Rhodes is raring to join the Beermen on the court as they set out to extend their success over to the Commissioner’s Cup.

“That’s (a follow-up championship) what’s expected, you shouldn’t expect nothing less,” Rhodes said after the Beermen rallied to a 4-3 victory over hard-fighting Magnolia and won their record fifth consecutive all-Filipino diadem.

“I didn’t come here to make money and play, I came out here to win a championship and be the best player in this conference. That’s what I’m busting my butt on. I’ll make sure it comes true,” he said. 

Rhodes powered SMB to the crown in the mid-season tournament in 2017 but wasn’t around last year when they unsuccessfully defended the title, giving him extra motivation to do an encore performance.

“I wanted to come back last season but I had to be with my daughter and wife. But now I’m here and I’m ready to defend my crown,” he said. “For sure it’s an unfinished business. I’m pretty stoked and I will use that on the court and give everything I got to make sure I defend my crown.”

The 6-foot-8 American is up against a bumper crop of imports, led by Justin Brownlee of SMB’s conqueror in 2018 Barangay Ginebra, former Houston mainstay Terrence Jones of TNT, Denzel Bowles of Rain or Shine and Rob Dozier of Phoenix.

“I’ll just go with the same mindset and try to do better than I did last time because I know it’s going to be a lot harder for me because all the other teams know my style of play but that will make it a challenge and I’m really prepared for that,” he said.

Rhodes, who is coming off a runner-up finish with Incheon ET Land Elephants in the Korean league, is expected to form a formidable combo with June Mar Fajardo in the middle.

“I’m just happy to be back with him and we’ll try to make it a twin tower and try to dominate like we did last conference I played,” he said.

The 33-year-old Texan also expressed belief he will fit in well with the new guys at SMB, Terrence Romeo and Christian Standhardinger.

“Just by conversation, they’re pretty cool and I know they’re great players and I think we’re going to jell well. Romeo is a good passing guard and I see him throwing a lot of alley-oops this conference,” he said.

CHARLES RHODES PBA PHILIPPINE CUP
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