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Ginebra on a high as Brownlee, Tenorio, Thompson mark return after Gilas stint

The return of import Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar and Jamie Malonzo, as well as coach Tim Cone from the Gilas Pilipinas stint is expected to boost Barangay Ginebra, which will defend its title defense in the Commissioner's Cup when the PBA Season 48 opens on November 5.

Save for Malonzo, who only played in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Brownlee and Co. are coming off an Asian Games basketball gold medal finish in Hangzhou, China.

LA Tenorio, who also served as one of Cone's assistants, will make his much-awaited comeback since recovering from colon cancer.

Scottie Thompson FIBA PHOTO

Ginebra assistant coach Richard del Rosario, who served Cone's lead deputy with Gilas, commended Olsen Racela and strength and conditioning coach Kirk Colier for ensuring the Gin Kings stay in great shape during the offseason.

“(Ginebra assistant) Coach Olsen and Coach Kirk have done a tremendous job in preparing the players while we were competing in the Asian Games,” del Rosario told the Manila Times.

Ginebra scored a 102-99 win over San Miguel Beer in their tuneup match a few days ago, with newly-acquired guard Maverick Ahanmisi contributing 11 points, eight assists and three rebounds for his new team.

“The guys are in good shape and we are using this time to really integrate the new guys (Ahanmisi, Donald Gumaru and Ralph Cu) with the system and culture of the team,” shared del Rosario.

“We are looking forward to get everyone back so that we can focus on the tough task ahead.” Veteran guard Nard Pinto is also beaming with excitement, knowing the return of Brownlee and Co., as well as Tenorio's anticipated comeback will bring the energy to a Ginebra side that is looking to keep the Commissioner's Cup crown.

“We're excited especially since we added another solid guard, whom we know can help the team,” said the 32-year-old Pinto.

The energetic Pinto also noted that the PBA fans for sure, are looking forward to seeing Tenorio back in the Ginebra uniform.

“We know who the main guys of the team are,” said Pinto, referring to Brownlee, Aguilar, Thompson and Malonzo. “We're also happy and excited with the return of kuya LA. Not only are the Ginebra fans, but the entire PBA fans anticipate the return of kuya LA.

Del Rosario said the Gin Kings may be the favorites in the Commissioner's Cup, but this will require hard work, considering the high-caliber imports set to reinforce the rest of the teams in the league.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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