By Waylon Galvez
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel veteran guard LA Tenorio has played under American mentor Tim Cone long enough to know that the two-time Grand Slam tactician hardly fixes anything, especially when it’s not broken.
That’s why comebacking import Shane Edwards need not to worry that much even if he’s not the original choice of the Gin Kings management for the Commissioner’s Cup that gets going next month.
“From my experience, hindi ganun si coach Tim. Basta maayos ‘yung import, coachable, hindi basta basta nagpapalit si coach Tim,” said Tenorio yesterday, giving Edwards, 30, some confidence booster amid a big cloud hovering on his head with the possibility of resident Ginebra import Justin Brownlee taking over eventually.
Since the 6-foot-4 Brownlee remains tied up to his contractual obligations with Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League, Ginebra decided to bring in the 6-foot-8 Edwards, who once suited up for the Alaska Aces and saw limited action for Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA, on an interim basis.
But if he plays beyond expectations and give the Gin Kings the presence—or even more—that Brownlee can provide, Edwards could be in for a longer stint and possibly keep Brownlee fresh for a third title run in the season-ending Governors Cup.
“Kung maganda ang ilalaro niya, why not? Sa tingin ko din kailangan din naman magpahinga ni Justin in time for the third conference. Dito na din naman siya base,” said Tenorio.
“Ang advantage lang namin on having Justin, alam na niya yung system namin, anytime pwede siyang pumasok sa team. So parang ganun nga, may backup kami in Justin.”
The mid-season conference opens on April 22 and Brownlee, depending on how deep Alab Pilipinas goes in the ABL playoffs, could be out until May 2, leaving the Gin Kings no recourse but to settle with another import with a maximum height of 6-10.
Edwards, listed at 6-foot-8, is set to join Ginebra next week at the resumption of training since he is done with his obligations in the ABL with the CLS Knights of Indonesia.
As a member of the Aces two years ago, Edwards averaged 22.11 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while Brownlee in comparison has career averages of nearly 30 points, 12 rebounds and five assists per game in the pro league.