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Rookie Routes: Overseas Newcomers Forge Diverse Debut Journeys

Friday’s PBA doubleheader featured a study in contrasts as two top rookies with experience playing overseas made their respective debuts. No. 1 pick Stephen Holt turned in a rather underwhelming performance in Terrafirma’s 108-103 loss to NorthPort, while No. 6 pick Kenneth Tuffin figured prominently in Phoenix’s 113-101 comeback victory over NLEX. Both were hardly in the mood to fixate on their respective showings at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Holt only had 11 points over the course of 38 minutes. He did have a strong defensive effort, which yielded four steals. Tuffin, who played pro ball in New Zealand for three years prior to entering this year’s PBA Rookie draft, had a more complete outing numbers-wise with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Tuffin wasn’t the only newcomer who was big in the Fuel Master’s rally from 16 points down. Ricci Rivero also contributed 15 points and four rebounds. Holt will have the chance to charge his shaky debut to a simple off night when Terrafirma battles Blackwater.…