THE BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS 2011-12 PREVIEW

Makes me want to check out the retro Ginebra jerseys.


FIVE CONFERENCES AGO:

2009-10 PHILIPPINE CUP – SEMIFINALS  
2010 FIESTA CUP – QUARTERFINALS
2010-11 PHILIPPINE CUP – SEMIFINALS  
2011 COMMISSIONER’S CUP – RUNNER-UP  
2011 GOVERNOR’S CUP – SEMIFINALS


The current Ginebra roster is very, very easy to remember.

Step 1: Check out the players that logged playing time for the Kings at the end of the 2011 Governor’s Cup.
Step2: Switch the names and designations of Jong Uichico and Siot Tanquingcen.
Step 3: Replace Rudy Hatfield’s name with Reil Cervantes.
Step 4: There is no Step 4.

It’s that’s simple. I am actually surprised at how hellish the fans are in saying that the San Miguel Corporation have forgotten about the Kings because frankly, they have a very, very strong lineup. Let’s start at the point guard spot where Mike Cortez, Rob Labagala, and Jayjay Helterbrand are sharing the duties. If the retirement talk on Helterbrand becomes true, then the Kings are in dire need for a productive quarterback but fact is at this stage, what more can you ask?

But maybe you can. The shooters and slashers lineup of Ginebra is so deep. It is so deep that they let Willie Miller slide out of their roster for a bigger but less stellar (compared to Miller’s accomplishments) KG Canaleta. But it is so deep that some players in their roster have become redundant. I know Mark Caguioa is the cornerstone of the Ginebra franchise but maybe they can replace Jimbo Aquino or John Wilson in the long run for a stronger PG if and when Helterbrand retires. A healthy Caguioa will certainly lead the charge for the Kings and he will have Ronald Tubid and JC Intal to give the squad scoring support. However I don’t want Ginebra to trade John Wilson. Wilson is an offense-defense player with a pretty good jumper and he has proven his worth. I think there is a need to give Labagala and John Wilson as well as Tubid the tools to grow and become better players.

Another Wilson that proved his worth is Willie Wilson. Despite his lack of size to play the big man’s role, he persevered and he was one of Ginebra’s Top 5 best players last season. Unfortunately for Willie, Enrico Villanueva is back to reclaim his former glory while Reil Cervantes was acquired from the draft to give the squad youth in their frontline. Even with the loss of Rudy Hatfield, the Kings are still a force to contend with. Eric Menk is still a powerhouse (at times) and with him Villanueva, Cervantes, Yancy De Ocampo, and Billy Mamaril manning the frontcourt, the Kings have the tools to make it all the way in the Philippine Cup.




OUTLOOK: Fans don’t despair in the alleged lack of frontline of the Kings. They are safe… extremely safe. To begin with, the Kings never really depended on their frontline in terms of scoring and their guards are awfully selfish (in a good way) so that when their shots miss, they know they have the rebounders to score on putbacks.

The reinstatement of Siot Tanquingcen to the team’s helm should make the Kings a more gung-ho and upbeat squad. I hate Jong Uichico’s style not because he is a bad coach but despite his excellence, he isn’t a Ginebra coach for me. I’m going to root for Siot because he is believable in this never say die atmosphere.   

I can see them doing well in this season… IF THEY STAY HEALTHY!  

PHILIPPINE CUP RANK: SECOND   

Game over.

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