Ginebra needs some tweaking

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Ginebra needs some tweaking

Post by MR. FAST on Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:24 am

Ginebra needs some tweaking

See, this writer has never been a fan of the so-called "Never Say Die" mantra of the post-Jaworski Ginebra. The moment the former senator left the fold, his long-time assistant turned heir to the coaching throne Rino Salazar was duly replaced by Allan Caidic and all the mid 90s guys "Jawo" brought in went looking for greener pastures, Ginebra lost a lot of its charm because it became a powerhouse.

It took only about a year or two for San Miguel Corporation to really turn things around, from a rag-tag group to a team brimming with All Stars led by Mark Caguioa and Eric Menk. Jayjay Helterbrand came back and soon established himself as one of the league's best, so did the inclusion of names like Rodney Santos, Johnny Abarrientos, Rudy Hatfield, Ronald Tubid, Enrico Villanueva and so on at one time or another.

So really, how can you call a team that is just as stacked as their sisters Petron and San Mig Coffee an "underdog?" Because they're currently on a five game slide? That's more of their system rather than having "limited" players. The games that they bounce back and win in "come from behind" fashion? Hell, with the players that they have, they're supposed to win most of the games they play in anyway.

Looking at the roster, they have the guys to win. There's reigning MVP Caguioa, Helterbrand, Hatfield, Mike Cortez, Willie Wilson, L.A. Tenorio, Rico Maierhofer, Allein Maliksi, Dylan Ababou, Chris Ellis, Keith Jensen, Kerby Raymundo, Billy Mamaril and L.A. Tenorio.

They have two legit, quality point guards: Tenorio plays most of the time, Cortez as his back-up. You can't get any better than that in the PBA save for maybe Talk 'n' Text's Jimmy Alapag-Jayson Castro.

For scorers who can create their own shots, Caguioa is undoubtedly the league's fiercest (Willie Miller is the best scorer we've ever seen, he just has the Vince Carter approach at doing things). Maliksi is getting there as he is definitely a knock-down jumpshooter. His dribbling skills are iffy, but on a team that features Tenorio, you'd think that all he has to do is catch and shoot.

Then there's the rub at the forward-center spots. Too many wing men, not a lot of traditional bigs.

The idea was for Ginebra to run at all times, Mike D'Antoni-Phoenix Suns style. But that's difficult to do when guys aren't natural rebounders who can control the paint because they have neither the skill or girth to battle inside. They can jump right out of the gym yes, but there's a thing called "boxing out" and "proper positioning" that takes away even
the best player's athletic advantage.

If Ginebra is keen on running, then they need a legit big man who can rebound. Mamaril is solid, but he's a half court big who's not good with rebounding and making the outlet pass. Raymundo has the smarts, but he's never been a big-time rebounder (and he's injured) down low. Hatfield still has the motor, but he's too short to be asked to play center versus the Thoss', Belgas, Penas, etc.

Looking at the league, Barako Bull and Air21 Express have a surplus of bigs that Ginebra management may want to take a look at. We're not saying that they should change their game plan and do away with the "run and gun" system, we're saying that it needs a little more fine tuning.

Nawala nga ung dami ng guwardiya, napalitan naman sa dami ng small forward.

Also, adding a jumpshooter at SG would also help their cause because it provides them-- Tenorio most of all, an option to pass the ball to. In last night's drubbing from sister San Mig Coffee, they started with Tenorio, Ababou, Jensen, Maierhofer and Mamaril.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out who can provide the offense (Tenorio) and who can't (everyone else). The result? An ass-whooping that they couldn't recover from.

Perhaps they could've gone with a Tenorio-Caguioa-Jensen-Mairhofer-Mamaril five? Or even Ababou for Jensen (sorry to hear about Ababou's ACL injury) since the SMART Gilas alum does more on both sides for Ginebra without much fanfare.

Though they've lost five straight, we still believe that Ginebra belongs in the upper echelon of the PBA and it's just a matter of time before someone really steps in does what we just stated above: add one to two more pieces to balance the roster, and maybe tweak the system a bit and they're good.

Just please, call them anything BUT an underdog.

Source: KKS


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