THE Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings officially unveiled Wednesday three new sets of their red-and-white uniform, which they will wear beginning the 38th season of the PBA.
From coach Siot Tanquingcen to reigning league MVP Mark Caguioa, just about everybody in the team is hopeful the change will bring a change of fortune – and a championship for the league’s most popular ballclub.
"We're excited to unveil our new jersey and looking forward to winning a championship," said Caguioa speaking on behalf of the team during the formal rite held at the Gateway Suites at the Araneta Center.
The new playing jersey is also a fitting way to welcome the team’s new players in rookie Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen, and star point guard L.A. Tenorio.
The three, according to Caguioa and backcourt partner JayJay Helterbrand, will make the Gin Kings more competitive the entire season, beginning with the Philippine Cup.
“The addition of rookies will make it easier for us veterans. Mas magiging madali sa amin, these guys can run and score,” added Caguioa.
“L.A. (Tenorio) will definitely be a big part of this team,” said Helterbrand. "For me personally, it takes a lot of pressure out of me, it will take the pressure out of us in the backcourt. He’s a great addition to the team.”
Aside from Caguioa and Helterbrand, also present during the unveiling ceremony were Ellis, Jensen, Elmer Espiritu, Rob Labagala, Allein Maliksi, Willie Wilson, Billy Mamaril, Dylan Ababou, Rico Maierhofer, Kerby Raymundo, Mike Cortez, and Rudy Hatfield.
Only Tenorio and veteran big man Eric Menk were not around.
The entire coaching staff likewise attended the event led by Siot Tanquingcen and assistants Allan Caidic, Alfrancis Chua, Juno Sauler, Art Dela Cruz, Freddie Abuda, and team manager Samboy Lim.
Tanquingcen said the Gin Kings are already complete, although he admitted they still lack one big man in the middle.
“Tryouts are already done and over. Yes, kulang kami sa isa pang malaki, pero gagawan na lang namin ng paraan iyan,” said the soft-spoken mentor.
At the moment, Tanquingcen said the Gin Kings are currently 60 to 70 percent ready with the new season set to start two weeks from now.
“We have the benefit of doing good practice games, so I can say we’re probably within 60 to 70 percent ready,” said Tanquingcen, adding Tenorio had only practiced twice with the team since being acquired in a blockbuster offseason trade.
Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. (GSMI) marketing manager Nelson S. Elises said Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will always be a strong marketing complement to the Ginebra San Miguel brand, the world’s number one selling gin.
"Ginebra ang pinakasikat na basketball team sa bansa. Survey po iyan," said Elises.
“Our Ginebra San Miguel basketball team is one of the reasons why the brand continues to enjoy the distinction as the number one selling gin in the world and the top-of-mind choice among consumers in the country,”he added.