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Team Play Key to Northport Import Venky Jois’ Historic 40-Point Game in PBA

MANILA, Philippines—Unselfishness was key for Venky Jois to dominate in Northport’s win over Terrafirma in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

But Jois preached that the victory wasn’t just due to his domination in the paint for a monster double-double of 43 points and 10 rebounds.

Instead, he gave credit to his teammates while also saying that it’s virtually impossible to play a 5-on-1 scheme in a professional league like the PBA.

“I think it’s impossible to play 5-on-1. I know some imports might’ve tried it here but I don’t think that even looks like good basketball so I think, the better we can be as a team makes it so much easier for me,” said the Australian cager.

“If Arvin (Tolentino), Josh (Munzon) or Jeff (Chan) can maneuver the way for us, it all makes the spacing a lot better and I can finish inside, attack the basket and do the things that I do well.”

NorthPort’s Arvin Tolentino. –PBA IMAGES

Jois, indeed, wasn’t alone on the offensive end for Batang Pier with Tolentino scoring 16 and Munzon balling out on all ends of the court with 11 markers, five boards and five assists.

Friday’s outing was a first for Jois, as it was his first professional game in an Asian league.

His stellar debut certainly gave coach Bonnie Tan something to gush about but he said he will continue to challenge the 6-foot-8 big.

“He’s our main guy and I challenge him because this is the first time he’s playing in Asia as an import. He played for several teams in Europe but there, they have multiple imports so I challenged him to perform and give us the first win,” said Tan.

During his stint in Europe, Jois revealed that he never cracked the 40-point barrier.

Despite finally achieving that, though, what Jois deemed more important was the team starting off on the right foot.

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“I’ve had two 38-point games so it’s actually quite nice to crack the 40 for a professional game but that really doesn’t mean anything… I’m not really thinking about the 43, I’m thinking about the huge win to start us off right for us to carry this momentum,” Jois said.

Old sports articles from Inquirer.