PBA: Unbeaten Ginebra continues to face injury woes
MANILA, Philippines—Ginebra may have won all three of its first games in the PBA Governors’ Cup tournament but the injury problems continue to pile up the Gin Kings.
After the Gin Kings scored a 115-100 win over Northport at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, coach Tim Cone addressed the long list of ailing players for the defending Commissioners’ Cup champions, who played just their first game on Sunday.
“We still have LA (Tenorio) on very limited minutes. No Christian (Stanhardinger), no Japeth (Aguilar), Scottie’s (Thompson) banged up but he finds a way to play through it, but we’re getting good performances,” the top coach admitted.
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Malonzo finished with a career-high 28 points to give the Gin Kings their third straight win. | @MeloFuertesINQ pic.twitter.com/i9fX8Ky9uD
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Tenorio has been playing with limited minutes in the past three games due to a tweaked abdominal muscle.
Aguilar and Stanhardinger, on the other hand, are tending to knee injuries of their own, leaving Ginebra short in the big man department.
“I think Japeth may be out for a few more games. [Standhardinger] might play tomorrow, we’ll find out in practice. Even if he does, obviously he won’t be a hundred percent,” explained Cone.
To make matters worse, role player Raymond Aguilar suffered a bad fall in the second quarter of Friday’s game and did not return.
Cone, though, said the coaching staff was just being cautious against inserting the key cog back into the match. He will be able to play for ‘Manila Clasico’ on Sunday against Magnolia.
With players getting hurt, Cone relied on a small ball rotation which worked wonder for the Gin Kings against Batang Pier.
“We’re playing small but when you have Jamie (Malonzo), Miah (Gray) and Justin (Brownlee) playing together, you’re not so small. They’re quick, they’re able to get out and rotate for each other even on defense. It’s a fun combination,” he said.
Malonzo scored a career-high 28 points for Ginebra while Gray doubled down on his stellar outing against NLEX by scoring 16.
Brownlee did a little bit of everything for the now 3-0 squad with 22 markers, 15 boards and 12 dimes.
Malonzo also acknowledged the growing pains of the team due to injury and explained that the schedule is adding up to the hardships.
“We got key players out so we’re all banged up. We have a couple guys playing through injuries too but this is already out third game of the week. We’re grinding,” he said.
On Wednesday, Cone already addressed the squad’s problem with ITS “condensed schedule,” saying it is hard to play consecutive games after playing a seven-game series just last month.
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