BARANGAY Ginebra found plenty of positives as well as negatives as it surrendered a 98-89 decision to Blackwater in its first tune-up game in the offseason on Tuesday at the Upper Deck gym.
Hitting the ground running from vacation with two-a-day training sessions, the Gin Kings still proved rusty as they saw the Elite emerge on top at the end of a see-saw battle.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone used the friendly to experiment on unusual lineups, at some point using 6-foot-4 Art dela Cruz run the offense at point point in a tall lineup anchored by Greg Slaughter.
James Sena and Mike DiGregorio proved to be thorns in the side of the Gin Kings, who were missing Joe Devance and Japeth Aguilar.
Sol Mercado was present but also didn't suit up.
"Okay naman yung effort, although we're still lacking in key personnel, so it gave others a chance to play," Gin Kings assistant coach Richard del Rosario said.
"We don't expect to be really good at this point," he added. "But okay naman kay coach Tim, even until the fourth, yung mga rookies, he was happy with the effort."