Cone hopes to have Slaughter, Caguioa, Devance back for Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines—Tim Cone is looking forward to another run at a PBA title with the same roster that ended Ginebra’s Philippine Cup drought.
The multititled coach hopes to see a full roster that includes veterans Joe Devance and Mark Caguiao and the return of beleagured center Greg Slaughter for the next PBA Season.
Barangay Ginebra hasn’t had major changes in its roster since it won the 2019 Governors’ Cup apart from the addition of rookies Arvin Tolentino, Jerrick Balanza, and Kent Salado.
“We’re hoping to get Greg back. I think that would be huge for us,” said Cone after leading the Gin Kings to their 82-78 Game 5 clincher over TNT in the finals.
“I would love to have Greg back on the team, and that would help Japeth [Aguilar] out in terms of giving him a break and we could be a little bit more creative in the way we play.”
“We get Greg back and move forward to the All-Filipino. I don’t see any dramatic changes in the team. I’m hoping Mark Caguioa decides to play one more year only because he’s just such a presence on the team.”
Slaughter left the team in February 2020 after his contract expired. He congratulated the team on the victory in a post on Twitter.
Congratulations, fellas! Way to get it! 🏆 #NSD
— Greg Slaughter (@GWillSlaughter) December 9, 2020
Caguioa, who’s rarely featured in games, was also an integral part of Cone’s team providing locker room leadership to the younger players—athletes who’ve watched the 2012 MVP play at his peak.
Devance, who’s played for Cone since 2008, is still one of the better Gin Kings, providing stability on either forward spots as a big playmaking forward.
“He’s [Caguioa] a presence in the locker room, he’s a presence at practice. Incredibly positive influence to the younger players. So I’m hoping he’ll come back and play one more year. And of course Joe,” said Cone of his aging stars.
Caguioa is 41-years-old while Devance is 38.
“We’ll see how these guys feel after a couple months and and how they want to build. But I’d like the team to come back intact and find a way to get Greg back on the lineup and and go from there. I think that we can still compete for championships if we stay intact and get Greg back in the lineup.”