Ginebra buckles down to work with preseason practices held behind closed doors
Security personnel at the CFF Gym says Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso has ordered that media be barred from the Gin Kings' practices. Jerome Ascano

SHOWING they mean business in their bid to end a long title drought, Barangay Ginebra, under coach Jeffrey Cariaso, has buckled down to work with pre-season practices held behind closed doors at the newly-built Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF) gymnasium in Pasig City. could only stay for 10 minutes to watch the team’s practice on Thursday, before being told by the building’s security personnel that Cariaso wanted the media out of Ginebra’s practices.

Fans are also not allowed to watch the practice sessions.

“Sinabihan po kami ni coach na wala pong media sa practice,” one security personnel said, leaving with no choice but to immediately leave the building premises.

Cariaso earlier said the two-month head start gives him the chance to continue teaching the Gin Kings the basics of the triangle offense, a complicated system that takes time to master.

Cariaso, 41, only had weeks to work with the Gin Kings prior to last season's PBA Governors Cup after taking over from Ato Agustin. He finished his first conference as Ginebra coach with a 5-5 (win-loss) record and a quarterfinal exit at the hands of Alaska.

Spotted working out with the team were rookie aspirants led by Filipino-Italian guard Chris Banchero, the Semerad twins Anthony and David, along with big man Kyle Pascual.

Ginebra owns the sixth pick in the first round on this Sunday’s 2014 Gatorade PBA Annual Rookie Draft at the Robinsons Place Ermita.

However, it is highly unlikely for the Gin Kings to catch the 6-foot-1 Banchero at that point, considering that the former Asean Basketball League Finals MVP is expected to land in the Top 3 of this year’s rookie draft.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava