PBA preview: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel

Levi Verora
Ginebra's frontcourt gets a major upgrade but expect Tenorio and Caguioa to still lead this run-and-gun team

GIN KINGS. LA Tenorio and Mark Caguioa will lead a now taller Ginebra squad. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – A new Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season kicks off on Sunday, November 17. Anticipation is high especially with the influx of young talent that came via the PBA draft

Who are the teams and players to watch out for? Rappler gives you a preview of each team and how we expect them to fare in the All-Filipino Conference.

BARANGAY GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL

Philippine Cup recap

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel barely escaped the twice-to-beat disadvantage with a 7-7 win-loss card. But a physical Rain or Shine crew beat them in the quarterfinals, 1-2.

Projected starters

Greg Slaughter
Japeth Aguilar
Chris Ellis
Mark Caguioa
LA Tenorio

Bench

Jay-R Reyes
Billy Mamaril
Mac Baracael
Dylan Ababou
Emman Monfort
Bryan Faundo
Josh Urbiztondo
Jayjay Helterbrand
James Forrester

Coaching staff

Head coach: Ato Agustin
Assistants: Boyzie Zamar, Art Dela Cruz, Jorge Gallent, Allan Caidic, Juno Sauler

Strengths

Having been dwarfed in the last few conferences, the country’s most popular basketball team upgraded their frontcourt, bringing in 7-foot Greg Slaughter and 6’7″Jay-R Reyes to the fold. The two will team up with Japeth Aguilar to form a towering combination for Ginebra. Mac Baracael, a recovering Dylan Ababou, and new recruit James Forrester will take care of the wing position while 2012 Jones Cup MVP LA Tenorio, one of the best point guards in the league, takes care of the backcourt with 2012 PBA MVP Mark Caguioa.

Weaknesses

Ginebra’s frontcourt, although imposing on paper, is entirely new and still needs to prove itself. Last season, their scoring was concentrated on the backcourt; Caguioa, Tenorio, and Ellis were their top 3 scorers. It’s time to impose their height and might inside starting this conference.

TWIN TOWERS. Ginebra has 2 skyscrapers to man the paint this season - 7-foot Greg Slaughter and 6'9" Japeth Aguilar. Slaughter photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler. Aguilar photo by Nuki Sabio/FIBA Asia

X-Factor

Japeth Aguilar is athletic but he is sometimes criticized for not taking advantage of his potential. But he soared in the FIBA Asia Championship last August, swatting away shots, taking care of the inside, and showing energy on both ends of the floor. He’s probably the best big man in the Ginebra lineup, and he must live up to expectations. He has the entire barangay crowd to support him.

Can Ginebra make a cinderella run?

Ginebra garnered their last All-Filipino crown in 2007 behind a solid crew which included Rudy Hatfield, Eric Menk, Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand. This could be Ginebra’s most formidable cast since winning the crown six years ago, and they should go a long way.

Philippine Cup forecast

PBA’s crowd favorites could turn into crown favorites. They should finish among the middle seeded squads and could surprise the league when they go to the playoffs. – Rappler.com


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