2012-13 PBA Preview: Can Ginebra’s kings finally regain a crown?

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2012-13 PBA Preview: Can Ginebra’s kings finally regain a crown?

Post by geraldasakura on Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:17 pm

2012-13 PBA Preview: Can Ginebra’s kings finally regain a crown?

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel probably made the biggest splash of the offseason after acquiring Jones Cup Most Valuable Player LA Tenorio in a blockbuster deal.

Official Lineup
No. Player
2 Billy Mamaril
5 LA Tenorio
10 Paul Rico Maierhofer
11 Mike Cortez
13 Anthony Helterbrand
18 Allein Maliksi
21 Kerby Raymundo
23 Elmer Espiritu
27 Willy Wilson
32 Keith Jensen
33 Dylan Ababou
34 Chris Ellis
47 Mark Caguioa
99 Rudy Hatfield
Head Coach:
Siot Tanquingcen

Coaching Consultant:
Alfrancis Chua

Assistant Coaches:
Allan Caidic, Arturo dela Cruz, Marco Januz Sauler, Freddie Abuda

The crafty point guard, who had some brilliant performances for the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team over the break, was considered the big prize in what was essentially a five-team deal that also saw marquee players like JVee Casio, Willie Miller and Dondon Hontiveros moving to different teams.

The arrival of Tenorio gives the crowd darlings a huge offensive option beside the rejuvenated Mark Caguioa, who carried a big load last season en route to winning the PBA MVP award.

“LA will play a huge role on our team,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen. “He would be one of the main guys and I think he would fit well with Mark.”

Despite the buzz surrounding their new acquisition, there’s plenty more to be excited about than just Tenorio, and Tanquingcen points to rookies Keith Jensen and Chris Ellis as examples of those.

“The acquisition of LA is huge but the additions of Jensen and Ellis bring an added dimension in terms of athleticism and excitement to our game.”

The Gin Kings are looking primed to be successful in the run-and-gun game that has endeared them to their very passionate fanbase, although they do lose a little bit of size after shipping SMART-Gilas backup Enrico Villanueva off to Barako Bull during the offseason.

Tanquingcen doesn’t feel like expectations have skyrocketed in light of the new additions to the team, but he certainly is hopeful that his team can be a serious threat this season.

“I think just like everyone else, we come into every season hoping we could win a title.”

Outlook: With Caguioa and Tenorio, Ginebra could have the best starting backcourt in the league. And with Jayjay Helterbrand and Mike Cortez able to fill in at those spots, the Ginebra guard rotation — a traditional strength for the franchise dating back to the Jaworski days — is set.

The frontcourt is a bit trickier. At the wings, Ginebra has a virtual air force with Dylan Ababou, Allein Maliksi, Rico Maierhofer, and rookie Chris Ellis. The power forward spot is manned by undersized big men Rudy Hatfield, Willy Wilson, and Elmer Espiritu, as well as rookie Keith Jensen.

And after giving up Enrico Villanueva in the Tenorio trade, the Gin Kings now have a virtual donut in the middle, with only Kerby Raymundo (who’s not really a center) and Billy Mamaril to man the slot.

Last Season Review

Lost to Rain or Shine, 2-0, in the best-of-three Philippine Cup quarterfinals

Lost to B-MEG, 3-1, in the best-of-five Commissioner’s Cup semifinals

Lost to B-MEG in a knockout for the last Governors’ Cup finals spot

With an infusion of youth and athleticism at the wings, coach Siot Tanquingcen is talking about the team running more. It seems intuitive, but the team’s guards — Caguioa, Tenorio, Helterbrand, and Cortez — have thrived in the halfcourt more than in transition over the past few seasons.

It’d be interesting to see how committed Ginebra will be to run. Last season, the team made a lot of bones about going on a youth movement, even starting young guys like Rob Labagala and John Wilson. By the end of the year, however, the kids were glued to the bench and now are out of the team.

But despite all the flaws in the lineup, this is a talented team, and already expectations are mounting. Fans are rightfully excited — some even think that the team has the best lineup in the league — and with such huge expectations, anything less than a return trip to the finals in even just one conference will be a disappointment.

Source: interAKTV

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