Barangay Ginebra is set to embark on its title-defense journey in the upcoming PBA Commissioner’s Cup, commencing on November 5 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The team enters the training camp with a roster fortified by key returns and a new import, all fueled by their trademark “never-say-die” ethos and the unwavering support of their fervent fan base.
Among the notable additions is former rival import Tony Bishop, who engaged the Kings in a memorable six-game title showdown in the 2021 Governors Cup.
Bishop, a dominant force, is no stranger to the Ginebra squad, having showcased his prowess in a heated battle. Head coach Tim Cone expressed his anticipation for Bishop’s role in the team, citing his impressive statistics from his previous PBA stint.
“We know him pretty intimately ‘coz we had a six-game battle with him and we have a vision for him on how he’s going to come in and fit so we’re excited,” Cone remarked, highlighting Bishop’s stellar averages of 25.7 points, 13.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 steals.
Meanwhile, the return of stalwarts Scottie Thompson and Japeth Aguilar, who played pivotal roles in the Philippines’ successful campaign in the Asian Games, injects further dynamism into the lineup. Their presence, coupled with the comeback of Jamie Malonzo, promises to be a formidable force on the court.
However, a lingering uncertainty surrounds the status of Justin Brownlee, pending a verdict from FIBA regarding his doping issue. Ginebra remains hopeful for a positive resolution, but in the meantime, they are poised to make the most of their reinforced roster.
The local core of Ginebra remains solid, with the notable inclusion of free-agent recruit Maverick Ahanmisi. The return of LA Tenorio, now cancer-free, is eagerly anticipated, with his active participation expected to resume by December.
With their arsenal replenished and spirits soaring, Ginebra eyes a triumphant run akin to their previous year’s feat, culminating in a finals conquest over the Bay Area Dragons.
The fervent “Gi-ne-bra, Gin-ne-bra!” chants of their dedicated Sixth Man serve as a resounding testament to the unwavering support that propels the team forward.