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Ginebra to unload its guards?

Manila, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra, currently at the bottom half of the standings with an even 4-4 record, is looking forward to improving its roster – via trades – with the PBA Philippine Cup halfway through its elimination round.

A source privy to negotiations confirmed that the Kings are talking to several teams for possible deals, but refused to divulge details of trade scenarios for Ginebra, which won over newcomer Shopinas.com, 92-79, last Saturday in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

“Hopefully this week,” said the source, who requested not to be named as there’s no final deal yet on the trade talks.

Ginebra mentor Siot Tanquingcen did confirm yesterday that they are looking to improve their roster, hoping to make the team more competitive not just this all-Filipino conference but for future seasons of the Kings.

“We have recommendations, but we don’t know yet if it pushes through. What I know is that management is working on it,” Tanquingcen told the Bulletin in a phone interview. “Of course, there’s always a need to upgrade.”

Tanquingcen refused to discuss what recommendations he made to management, even the positions that need to be upgraded.

“It’s hard to say what positions, because if I say this or that position, some players will probably speculate that it’s him. But the recommendations we have is that those that we think that we need to improve our team,” added Tanquingcen.

So far, the Kings are loaded at the backcourt position with Jayjay Helterbrand, Mike Cortez and Rob Labagala sharing minutes at the point guard spot, while Mark Caguioa, John Wilson and Jimbo Aquino rotates as shooting guard.

According to league observers, what Ginebra needs to improve is its frontline, with Enrico Villanueva and Yancy de Ocampo as the only legitimate centers while former MVP Eric Menk is spending more time on the injury list.

Last week, Caguioa criticized the coaching staff’s move of relying on the younger guys like Wilson and Labagala in late game situations that resulted to setbacks to Meralco and Talk ’N Text, but Tanquingcen said all is well with him and the outspoken guard.

Meantime, Petron Blaze ended Rain or Shine’s four-game win streak with a 90-80 win late Sunday as Arwind Santos collected 25 points and 14 rebounds. (Waylon Galvez)

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