PBA trade

Cone seeks to maximize Onwubere potential at Ginebra

Delfin Dioquino
Cone seeks to maximize Onwubere potential at Ginebra

JOURNEYMAN. Sidney Onwubere will play for a third team over the last three years.

PBA Images

Ginebra acquires Sidney Onwubere after an impressive campaign with NorthPort in which the gritty forward averaged several career-highs

Sidney Onwubere has shown vast improvements over the last two PBA seasons and Barangay Ginebra looks to capitalize on that.

Ginebra acquired Onwubere in a one-on-one trade with NorthPort as it let go of talented forward Art dela Cruz after helping the franchise win two titles in his four years with the team.

“In Sydney, we saw a player who’s shown flashes of solid potential,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

Onwubere played a pivotal role for NorthPort as it reached the 2021 Philippine Cup quarterfinals, averaging career-highs of 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 13 games he saw action in.

Those numbers were a major upgrade from his norms of 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in the 2020 Philippine Cup when the Emilio Aguinaldo College product still played for Rain or Shine.

“We’re hoping we can bring more out of his game at Ginebra,” Cone said.

Trading Dela Cruz was not an easy decision for Cone.

Cone bared he pushed for Ginebra to acquire the former San Beda ace from Blackwater as he saw star qualities in Dela Cruz.

“Art was the guy I really pursued to bring to Ginebra. Needless to say, we had great hope for him, but he’s had problems staying healthy,” Cone said.

Dela Cruz did not suit up for Ginebra in the 2021 Philippine Cup.

“He is healthy now and if he can stay healthy, he’s a premiere player in the league. He’s an intelligent, skilled player who brings great chemistry to the team. His teammates will miss him,” Cone said of Dela Cruz.

Ginebra will be one of the teams to beat in the upcoming Governors’ Cup as it tries defend the crown it won last year. – Rappler.com

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.