THE year 2020 will go down as one of the most memorable for Barangay Ginebra and its millions of fans despite the global health crisis that affected the lives of everyone. There were also controversies along the way, but that was wiped out with another championship in the bag.
Here’s a summary of Ginebra’s year that was.
Ginebra crowned as Governors’ Cup champion
The Gin Kings opened the year as champions when they captured the 2019 Governors’ Cup finals series that ran through January against Meralco in five games. Japeth Aguilar was adjudged as Finals MVP after the Gin Kings defeated the Bolts, 105-93, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Jan. 17.
Slaughter takes sabbatical
Weeks after their Governors’ Cup victory, Greg Slaughter announced on social media that he is taking a break from basketball after his contract expired after the 2019 season. The number one pick in the 2013 draft, Slaughter said he will use the break to improve himself as a person and a basketball player. During the sabbatical, Slaughter trained in the US. It looks like Slaughter is on his way for a Ginebra return after he apologized to management for any miscommunication that occurred during his decision to take a leave.
Japeth fined for 5-on-5 scrimmage
The PBA sanctioned Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar along with Rain or Shine rookie Adrian Wong P20,000 for a scrimmage game posted on social media that occurred in July when 5-on-5 was still disallowed by the government due to the quarantine impositions around the country.
‘Sagip Kapamilya’ accusations
A loss against San Miguel, 81-66, last November 8 drew criticisms from fans, who claimed that first place Ginebra showed a lackluster effort against its sister team San Miguel, which was vying for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. The Gin Kings also benched their stars late in match, drawing even more ire from their legions of PBA supporters. Ginebra coach Tim Cone apologized to the fans for his move, which was done in order to rest their top guns for their next match against Terrafirma.
Barangay Ginebra champs inside bubble
The long wait ended for Barangay Ginebra as it finally won the Philippine Cup trophy in December, a feat they last did in 2007. Ginebra got off to a quick start in the bubble with four straight victories, and ended with an 8-3 record and first place in the quarterfinals thanks to the efforts of their primary scorer Stanley Pringle. The Kings easily got past eighth-seed Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals, but had to earn their way to the championship series when they were taken to the hilt by Meralco before escaping with an 83-80 win in Game Five behind Scottie Thompson’s corner triple with 0.5 left on the clock. The Gin Kings beat TNT in five games, including an 82-78 Game Five victory last Dec. 9. LA Tenorio was voted finals MVP in the series.