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Ginebra dealt blow ahead of playoffs as injured Pinto out 3-4 weeks: ‘Definitely hurtful’

Delfin Dioquino

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Ginebra dealt blow ahead of playoffs as injured Pinto out 3-4 weeks: ‘Definitely hurtful’

SIDELINED. Nards Pinto will miss majority of the playoffs due to a sprained ankle.

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Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone, though, does not discount the possibility of Nards Pinto returning sooner than expected, knowing how badly the Gin Kings guard wants to play

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra will be without one of its premier defenders for majority of the playoffs.

Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone said on Wednesday, November 30, that veteran guard Nards Pinto will miss at least three weeks due to an ankle sprain that would likely keep him out of the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Pinto suffered the injury in the first quarter of their 122-105 win over NorthPort last Sunday, December 27, and sat out their 115-96 victory over Converge on Wednesday.

“We just got word… that he could be out possibly for three weeks before he can get back on the court,” said Cone.

“So we’re talking about three weeks and we’re talking about maybe another week to get him prepared. That is if the rehab goes the right way, as the doctors expect.”

Although averaging just 2.9 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.5 rebounds, Pinto has been a key figure within the rotation of Cone, particularly on the defensive end.

Pinto, who plays 12 minutes off the bench, ranks fifth among all Ginebra players in plus-minus with an average of +4.3, just behind Justin Brownlee (+7.3), Stanley Pringle (+7.3), Scottie Thompson (+7.2), and Jamie Malonzo (+7).

“Tough break for him because he is key to a lot of our defensive scheming and he is really one of, probably, our best backcourt defenders,” said Cone.

“It is certainly going to hurt us going into the playoffs when you play against guys like Paul Lee or Bolick, all these great guards. Not having him around is definitely hurtful.”

Cone, though, does not discount the possibility of Pinto returning sooner than anticipated.

And the silver lining is Pinto does not have to go under the knife as he only needs to wear a walking boot that will allow him to recover properly.

“Knowing Nards, he could very easily limit that number of weeks so he could come back sooner because he is such an incredible worker and he has such a high tolerance of pain,” Cone said.

“But we are prepared to play without him for the next three to four weeks.”

Currently at third place but still in the running for the second seed, the Gin Kings will face either NorthPort or Phoenix in the quarterfinals. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.