JEREMIAH Gray blew into town this week and can’t wait to personally meet the entire Barangay Ginebra team.
But before fans of the PBA’s most popular ballclub get too excited, the Fil-Am guard is not yet sure about suiting up for the Gin Kings in the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup.
Coach Tim Cone confirmed the arrival of the 6-foot-5 Gray, but said that’s all there is to it for now.
The No. 2 overall pick in the last draft has yet to be cleared for practice as he continues to recover and rehabilitate from the ACL injury he suffered last November.
“He is here but still unable to play or practice,” said Cone. “He still needs to rehab for a few more months.”
Seeing Gray finally in the flesh though, is already enough to elicit excitement among Barangay Ginebra fans especially in light of the team’s early exit in the Philippine Cup playoffs following its loss to the Meralco Bolts in their best-of-three quarterfinals.
Just before the playoffs, Ginebra activated Gray from the injury/reserved list in lieu of guard Kent Salado.
Cone however, clarified the move was a ‘just in case’ decision.
Gray has previously said that he doesn't expect to be back in full strength until around January of 2023, or by the time the Kings start to defend their Governors Cup title.
The 25-year-old native of California was acquired by the Kings in a stunning trade two days after he was made the No. 2 overall selection by Terrafirma in the PBA draft.
In acquiring Gray, Ginebra had to let go No. 8 overall pick Javi Gomez De Liano and sophomore guard Brian Enriquez.
The Dyip claimed they needed manpower right away especially after losing Gilas draft pick Jordan Heading to the Taiwan T1 League, and doesn't have the luxury of time to wait for Gray until next year, forcing them to look for players elsewhere.
Everything was going well for Gray last year until going down with the ACL injury during the third leg of the PBA 3x3 First Conference while playing for TNT.