BARANGAY Ginebra was a busy team during 2019, enjoying success later in the year in the local and international scene. The Gin Kings also made a midseason trade that reinforced the team.
Here are the highlights of the team in 2019.
The Gin Kings suffered elimination in the Philippine Cup when the third-seed team lost to sixth-ranked Magnolia in the quarterfinals, 2-1, in the best-of-three series. Ginebra won the first match, but dropped the final two on its way to an early exit.
Ginebra also failed in its quest to repeat in the Commissioner’s Cup after being eliminated by Terrence Jones and the rest of the TNT KaTropa, 3-1, in their best-of-five semifinal series.
The Gin Kings made a blockbuster trade on June when it acquired Stanley Pringle in a trade with NorthPort. Ginebra lost a bevy of veteran players in the deal in Sol Mercado, Jervy Cruz, and Kevin Ferrer, but took the opportunity to get one of the top guards in Asia in Pringle, who ended his five-year run with the NorthPort franchise due to the deal.
Cone named Gilas coach
With the national team in search of a new coach following the resignation of Yeng Guiao, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas went for the winningest coach in the history of the PBA after appointing Ginebra coach Tim Cone for the job. Cone’s post, however, was only on an interim basis as he held the post only for the Southeast Asian Games. Cone returned to the national team after coaching the Centennial Team that won the bronze in the 1998 Asian Games.
Ginebra core wins SEA Games gold
Upon his appointment as head coach of Gilas, Cone selected six players from Ginebra to compose the national pool for the SEA Games in Pringle, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson, and Arth dela Cruz. After weeks of preparation, Cone went with Pringle, Tenorio, Aguilar, and Slaughter to form part of the 12-man line-up.
After days of competition, Gilas Pilipinas went home with the gold in the SEA Games after beating Thailand, 115-81, giving Cone another accomplishment to his decorated coaching career.
Gin Kings return to Governors’ Cup finals
Following the Gilas campaign, Ginebra players continued their winning ways when they advanced to the finals of the Governors’ Cup. It was not an easy road for the Gin Kings. Overcoming the double duty of preparing for the SEA Games and the Governors’ Cup, Ginebra placed fourth in the elimination round and ended the Grand Slam bid of San Miguel with the quarterfinal victory. The Gin Kings also beat NorthPort in the semifinals to arrange a trilogy with Meralco for the Governors’ Cup crown.