Gin Kings try to halt skid vs Batang Pier


YOUSEF Taha (right), formerly of Air21, is fouled on the drive by Petron Blaze’s Dorian Pena in a recent game. Ginebra hopes to make a difference this time with a legitimate center in Taha. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Barangay Ginebra has addressed its big-man problem and will put a restructured team to the test right away when it clashes with cellar-dweller but unpredictable Globalport Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

With the energetic, 6-foot-7 rookie Yousef Taha acquired on Tuesday, the Gin Kings will come into their 7:30 p.m. contest with the Batang Pier with a new air of confidence in their bid to snap a tournament-worst five-game losing streak.

“We got him because we really need somebody to plug the hole in the middle,” said coach Siot Tanquingcen of Taha, who joined the Gin Kings from Air21 in a swap with Mike Cortez. “But sometimes, it takes a conference, or a year before we know (the results).”

Cortez, reunited with his former college coach Franz Pumaren at Air21, will also be in the spotlight when the Express collide withBarako Bull in the 5:15 p.m. game.

“Thank you, boss,” Pumaren was heard telling Ginebra board representative Robert Non Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum after the Taha-Cortez deal was approved by the Office of the Commissioner in the morning.

Pumaren had wanted a formidable point guard, and Cortez remains to be one of the best in the league, though his playing time with the Kings dwindled with the arrival of LA Tenorio from Alaska.

Ginebra is in one of its worst streaks in years, no thanks to a guard-heavy lineup that has gotten a tremendous pummeling from the field in the last month or so.

With Taha around, Ginebra now has a rebounder who can ease some of the burden off the shoulders of scorers like Tenorio, Mark Caguioa and rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen. Ginebra opened with two straight wins but has been on a tailspin ever since.

And the Kings will be in for a battle tonight against the Batang Pier, whose 1-7 record doesn’t reflect how good they are playing.

Reports have it that last year’s scoring champion, Gary David, had already started practicing with Globalport, giving former two-time MVP Willie Miller some help offensively.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace