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    Tough balancing act as Ato Agustin looks to keep Ginebra sharp and refreshed during break

    Mar 2, 2015

    BARANGAY Ginebra coach Ato Agustin faces the challenge of keeping the energy high in practice and keeping everybody focused during the team's two-week break in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

    The Gin Kings have pulled off two victories before heading to the midseason All-Star break, the last an 89-82 win over Blackwater Elite that moved them up to a share of fourth place on a 4-3 (win-loss) card.

    Agustin gave the team a two-day break since the Elite win but has since started to hold practice every other day to keep Ginebra players from slipping.

    “Ginawa ko na yung schedule para di mawala sa rhythm,” Agustin told “Although nabigyan ko naman ng magandang break sila, kasi nung nag back-to-back (games) kami, nagbigay ako ng dalawang araw na break."

    So far, the two-day break worked wonders for the Gin Kings as they whipped defending champion Purefoods Star Hotshots, 96-87 on February 22, before beating the Elite three days later.

    Over the next several days, the soft-spoken Ginebra coach said they intend to fine-tune their offense by playing sets of five-on-five to keep everyone’s competitive juices flowing. 

    “More on offense and execution kami ngayon kasi wala pa naman kaming paghahandaan sa defense,” he added.

    But come Saturday, Agustin explained they intend to zero in on go over the team's defensive scheme in preparation for the match against resurgent NLEX on March 11.

    [See Find out why Caguioa refuses to undergo an MRI on banged-up hip: 'Scary']

    Three Ginebra players, led by 2014 Rookie of the Year Greg Slaughter, Mark Caguioa and Japeth Aguilar have been named to play in this year’s All-Star Game in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Caguioa’s All-Star stint with the North team, however, is still in doubt due to a left hip injury.

    High-flying Chris Ellis, veteran playmaker LA Tenorio and Aguilar are also entered in the side events like the Slam Dunk contest and Three-point shootout.

    Tenorio said after the side events on Friday, he plans to return to Manila on Saturday so he could rejoin the team’s practice this weekend.

    “It’s up to us how to manage our rhythm kasi may side events pa this Friday, but I’ll try to go back (to Manila) sa Saturday, kasi di naman ako kasama sa Sunday (All-Star game),” said Tenorio.

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