#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings

With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.

Are the Kings ready to reign?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: 23 wins and 20 losses.

Best Finish: Semifinals in the 2014 Philippine Cup.

BIGS: Billy Mamaril, Jay-R Reyes, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Rodney Brondial
- If you’re a Ginebra diehard (and there are, reportedly, billions out there), then you’re probably salivating at the size of this team. I mean, at 6’5, Rodney Brondial shouldn’t be the smallest guy on a Philippine frontline, right? But he is. Remember when this team topped the 2014 Philippine Cup eliminations? Yes, this huge frontcourt had a lot to do with that.

- Though I’m no Ginebra diehard, I’m personally hoping Slaughter continues the growth in his game. He averaged about 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 block last season, playing about 33 minutes per game. We should see a slight increase in all those numbers this year, injuries notwithstanding of course. He’ll play his first full season under Jeff Cariaso, which should mean less adjustment.

Greg Slaughter should be a challenger for the MVP.
(image by Paolo Papa/Sports 5)
- I’m also still pining for Japeth Aguilar’s big breakout “I’m the best power forward in the country” season. I mean, he’s 6’9 with great length and freakish athleticism. He has an improved midrange game, and one has to think his years of playing for Gilas has made him significantly better, right? Okay, maybe it’s not a bad idea to NOT get our hopes up too much.

WINGS: James Forrester, Dylan Ababou, Chris Ellis, Mac Baracael, Mark Caguioa, Joseph Yeo
- This is maybe where the Gin Kings are at their deepest. Caguioa will go down in history as one of the local game’s best ever. Ellis can leap over buildings in a single bound. Baracael and Ababou are mirror-images of the same solid combo forward template. And, well, there’s Forrester, whose claim to fame so far is being the highest-picked Fil-Canadian in league history. And then you add Joseph Yeo, who showed last year how he could be a top-level combo guard.

Mark Caguioa is the veteran voice tasked to help some young ones grow up.
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA)

- I have Ellis, Baracael, and Yeo probably starting more games than Caguioa, but The Spark will probably finish games and continue being one of the team’s main clutch operators. The casualty, I think, will be Ababou, who has never really been able to completely recover from a couple of injuries and has never been consistently productive since leaving Barako Bull. I mean, this was a UAAP star and once-Gilas mainstay who averaged just 2.8 points in the past two seasons.

- Still, coach Cariaso can go two, maybe even three-deep with his wings. This affords him a lot of flexibility in case somebody goes down with an injury or foul trouble. Other coaches would be satisfied with much less.

FLOOR GENERALS: LA Tenorio, Emman Monfort, Jayjay Helterbrand,
- I love the fact LA Tenorio was solid for Gilas Pilipinas this past offseason. I say that because I’m hoping it all translates to better production for “The Lieutenant” this season, even if the point guard position isn’t exactly the focal point of the triangle offense coach Jett learned under the tutelage of Tim Cone. Of course, having veteran Jayjay Helterbrand and spitfire Emman Monfort backing him up will be pluses, too. Tenorio’s scoring, rebounding, and assists took a bit of a hit last season, but here’s to hoping he can bounce back in 2014-2015.

LA Tenorio better put up the numbers this season for Ginebra.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5)

Final Word: Big

- Biggest fanbase. Biggest frontline. Biggest expectations. The Kings will have to play much bigger than themselves to meet their potential. Otherwise, it’ll be another year of big disappointment.

Next Post »
0 Comment