By JONAS TERRADO
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is looking forward to finally start its defense of the Philippine Cup title after the PBA was given the go-signal to open the 46th season this Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Coach Tim Cone said he and his players are raring to head back into the court after spending the past two months holding full practices and scrimmages at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa City, Batangas.
“We’re all excited, that’s for sure,” said Cone. “We spent a long time practicing in Lipa waiting for this.
“Lipa was good to us, but the guys are tired of playing against themselves. They are looking forward to having games,” he added.
Ginebra is out to retain temporary possession of the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy after ruling the Philippine Cup late last year under a bubble setup in Pampanga.
The Kings beat out the TNT Tropang Giga, 4-1, with LA Tenorio claiming Finals Most Valuable Player honors.
Ginebra made one major change in the offseason by acquiring Christian Standhardinger from NorthPort in exchange for Greg Slaughter, who missed the bubble after a dispute with management.
The league’s most popular team also added some pieces through the draft with the selection of ex-Far Eastern University center Ken Sagulo in the first round and Fil-Am Brian Enriquez in the second round.
Best Player of the Conference Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Aljon Mariano and Joe Devance are all back in Ginebra’s bid for a 14th title that would tie them with Alaska and Magnolia.