Shane Edwards not out to prove he's a keeper, embraces familiar stand-in import role for Ginebra
Shane Edwards fully embraces his familiar role as stand-in import as Ginebra waits for Justin Brownlee. Karlo Sacamos

HIS stint may be temporary once again, but his effect is lasting.

Shane Edwards is embracing another role as a stand-in import, this time for Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

With resident import Justin Brownlee still committed with Alab Pilipinas deep in the Asean Basketball League playoffs, the Gin Kings have tapped the services of Edwards for the start of the PBA’s midseason tournament.

Edwards is in familiar territory, having played for Alaska in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup where he came in while Rob Dozier was injured to lead the Aces to a 6-3 record in the eliminations before Dozier returned and steered them to the finals where they lost to Rain or Shine.

And Edwards doesn’t mind another temporary role, this time for the Gin Kings in their bid to challenge mighty San Miguel Beer for the crown.  

“Just like the same situation at Alaska… they (Ginebra) brought me in the same situation, to come in and try to win as many games as I can while I’m here,” the American journeyman said.

 

Edwards, who turns 31 on May 31, is not out to prove that he should have a full-time position at Ginebra, just cherishing however long his stint with the league’s crowd darling lasts.

“It’s not a matter of something to prove,” Edwards said. “I’m lucky and blessed to get this opportunity, so I just take it a day at a time, come in, do what I got to do every day, work hard, and that’s just my mindset.”

Still, Edwards, who averaged 22.1 points on 49.3-percent shooting, 11.9 boards, 2.6 assists, 2.1 blocks, and 1.7 steals in 37.3 minutes in nine games for the Aces, is starting to prove that he’s a keeper, scoring the marginal dunk that completed the Gin Kings’ comeback in their 100-98 win over TNT in a tune-up on Saturday.  

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“He's a mismatch,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said of the 6-foot-8 reinforcement. “They try to guard him with a big import and he's really a 2-3-4 rather than a 4-5 and it's hard for a 4-5 to guard a 2-3-4. That's what we need.”

“We'll have a mismatch defensively but hopefully our fundamentals and the way we play, the way we settle and the schemes that we do can make up for that mismatch there,” he added. “But we also create mismatches on the other side because we have Joe Devance out there, he's playing the big and Shane's versatility allows him to guard the small guys so then they'll have a hard time matching us.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos