PBA: Tim Cone has high praise for 'very unique' Ralph Cu

PBA: Tim Cone has high praise for ‘very unique’ Ralph Cu

/ 10:32 PM April 14, 2024

Ralph Cu Ginebra beats NorthPort PBA

Ginebra’s Ralph Cu shoots during a game against NorthPort in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Ginebra coach Tim Cone has a knack for likening current players to PBA legends.

Last year, Cone compared Gin Kings’ swingman Jeremiah Gray to PBA great Kenneth Duremdes. On Sunday however, the most decorated tactician in PBA history couldn’t think of someone who reminded him of rising rookie Ralph Cu.

Cu played his best game yet, helping Ginebra overcome NorthPort, 95-88, in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

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“I can’t think of anybody off the top, he’s very unique,” Cone told Inquirer Sports, pertaining to Cu.

READ: PBA: Ralph Cu brings ‘something different’ to Ginebra

“He’s kind of unique in where he’s come from. He got cut from his college team then came here to star for the most popular team in the PBA, that’s quite a story. If anything, he kind of reminds me a little bit of Scottie because he’s so instinctive but that’s a little bit of an unfair comp because he’s a 3-4 and Scottie’s a 1-2 but I can’t think of any 3-4’s around that he reminds me of.”

“He’s kind of unique in body type and athleticism.”

Just two days removed from a 14-point effort in a rout of Blackwater, Cu fired 24 points that went with 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Gin Kings improved to 5-3.

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“Is it a surprise that he’s playing this well? Yeah, certainly. But we expected him to play well. He’s been starting our games so we expect him to play well. He doesn’t do anything in the game that he didn’t do in practice,” Cone said.

But while Cone somewhat anticipated Cu’s stellar play, the Gilas Pilipinas mentor did not expect the forward to be this good at this point of the season.

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“I don’t think we expected it [the rise] this early but we did know a lot about him. He played in our On Tour team and he played on the 3×3 so the coaches were really excited about him. We knew that going to that draft that he’s our target. We didn’t have a first-round pick and we hoped that he would last until the second round.”

Cu credited his solid campaign to his teammate Scottie Thompson, who also displayed his all-around brilliance with 10 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

“Kuya Scottie’s a big factor. He doesn’t stop moving so we always have a nice flow on the offensive side. We’re really just helping each other out and it just so happened that I got more assists because usually, it’s him,” said Cu.

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“I think that’s what makes our team unpredictable. Not only one guy makes the offense in every game,” he added.

TAGS: GINEBRA, Ralph Cu

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