BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone said Aljon Mariano and Arth Dela Cruz are still recovering from injuries, the reason the two players were not part of the opening-day roster of the Gin Kings for the 2021 PBA season.
Mariano and Dela Cruz were noticeably absent from Ginebra's lineup sent to mediamen on Wednesday, but Cone assured that they are still very much a part of the squad even if they are in the process of rehabbing from injuries.
“They are currently recovering from injuries. When they are healthy, they will return to the lineup,” Cone wrote on Twitter in response to fan queries about the status of the two players.
In the rosters released by the PBA, the Gin Kings' lineup was made up of Jared Dillinger, Kent Salado, LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Arvin Tolentino, Stanley Pringle, Prince Caperal, Brian Enriquez, Jeff Chan, Raymond Aguilar, Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger, Joe Devance, Kent Holmqvist, and MJ Ayaay.
Caguioa begins 20th season on reserve list
Mark Caguioa, meanwhile, was relegated to the injured/reserve list.
Cone later explained Caguioa’s status, saying the former PBA MVP is currently in the United States to attend to 'family matters.'
“Mark is still in the US attending to family matters. We expect him to return soon. He has management’s full permission to be away,” said Cone.
The 28-year-old Mariano was a vital piece to Ginebra’s title run in the 2020 Philippine Cup, averaging 8.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
Dela Cruz only played in five games during the bubble campaign and tallied 2.2 points and 2.0 rebounds for the Gin Kings, while Caguioa saw action in three games and had a 1.3-point average.
Cone said that even at 41, Caguioa still has a lot to contribute to the team not just on the court, but also off it, citing his leadership and competitiveness.
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