PBA: Tony Bishop ‘real logical choice’ as Ginebra import, says Tim Cone
MANILA, Philippines—Ginebra coach Tim Cone barely did any interviews after his gold medal coaching stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Asian Games last month.
So when he faced the media on the PBA Season 48’s opening day, he had to address the elephant in the room with Justin Brownlee not being able to compete for the Gin Kings in the Commissioners’ Cup tournament due to his positive doping test.
Cone, however, seemed to have found the perfect replacement for Brownlee.
“One of the first guys we thought of is Tony Bishop, only because we knew him due to our series against them in the Finals. Everything we saw in Tony was positive to us so he seemed like a real logical choice for us to bring him in,” said Cone on Sunday at Araneta Coliseum.
“He’s very unselfish and he does a lot of the dirty work and those are the imports we pride ourselves in… We expect to go out and compete for a chip and we think Tony will be a huge part of that.”
Cone knew Tony Bishop all too well as the 6-foot-8 forward served as Meralco’s import in the 2022 Governors’ Cup, a team Ginebra faced and defeated in the Finals.
Bishop balled out for the Bolts two years ago, posting averages of 25.7 points, 13.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
With the Gin Kings’ awareness of the 34-year-old’s prowess inside the hardcourt, his arrival on Monday was met with much welcome.
“Tony was awesome in the first practice and there were no surprises because we know him really well. Christian (Standhardinger) had to guard him one-on-one in that whole series. We felt that the series was won and lost on Christian’s ability to guard him,” said Cone.
“I think we know him very intimately so there were no surprises when he came in,” he added.
As for Brownlee, though, Cone bared that he, himself, still has no clue of the impending sanction for the long-time Ginebra import.
“I really don’t know what’s going on. I was informed that we were getting some sort of ruling last week but nothing came so I don’t know how it’s going to go down at this point.”
“I feel terrible for Justin and I feel terrible [that] we can’t bring him back for this conference. I feel terrible for the players because they love Justin but we have to move forward from that.”
The Gin Kings will have more time to jell with Bishop with their first game won’t be until November 17 against Converge at Araneta Coliseum.