BARANGAY Ginebra has won a championship and runner-up honors in the last two conferences.
Gin Kings’ coach Tim Cone believes that his squad can go further as they look forward to the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Still fresh from its 1-4 championship series defeat to three-peat champion San Miguel Beer, Ginebra might still be feeling some sting from that setback, but the team is looking on the positives moving forward.
Entering his fifth conference as Ginebra coach, Cone is looking forward to continuing what the team has started.
“Obviously, what we want is to continue improving and remain as title contenders this next conference though we know that won’t be easy,” said Cone. “We’ve accomplished things that we wanted in the last two conferences and we’re certainly hoping we can build on that.”
The league’s winningest coach knows that the road ahead will even be harder for Ginebra given the early handicaps that it needs to face in the second conference.
Choosing familiarity and proven worth over size, the Gin Kings opted to bring back Justin Brownlee for the next two tournaments.
Though Brownlee is proven to be a high-caliber import that can elevate Ginebra, the problem is that he only stands at 6’4” while others teams have taller imports in the tournament that allows reinforcement of up to 6’8” in height.
Also, depth might be an issue as key frontcourt players Greg Slaughter, Joe Devance and Jervy Cruz are all expected to miss significant time in the Commissioner’s Cup due to injuries, leaving Ginebra with a lack in ceiling.
Still, Cone believes that his team’s chemistry and efficiency in playing small ball and defense can make up for all that.
“We’ve come along together nicely and we’re hoping that can get us through considering we’ll continue to play small ball given our situation.”