Injury-hit Gin Kings looking to add ‘reinforcements’

Tim Cone has emphasized the urgent need for reinforcements following a string of unfortunate events that have plagued Brgy. Ginebra.

Following the Gin Kings’ hard-fought 87-83 victory over TNT in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at Philsports Arena, Cone expressed the team’s desire to seek assistance in various forms, whether it be through acquiring free agents, promoting players from the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), or exploring potential trades within the league.

“We’ll look around the league for help and see if there’s somebody out there who could help us out. Whether it be from picking up players from, who knows, maybe MPBL or trades,” said the league’s winningest mentor.

“We’re looking for help outside the lineup to fill that void. Right now, we have Sidney (Onwubere) as our four-man and after Sidney, we go to the guards. We really don’t have anybody in between except for maybe Ralph (Cu), but he’s not a defensive three, he’s more of a stretch-four,” he added.

The challenges for Brgy. Ginebra escalated further recently when forward Jamie Malonzo suffered a calf tear during their win against Northport, further depleting their already thin frontcourt.

With key players like Jeremiah Gray, Aljon Mariano, and Jared Dillinger also battling injuries of their own, the Gin Kings are facing a significant roster dilemma.

“If you think about it, a year or so ago, the wing was our strongest, deepest position. We had Miah, who played so well in the On Tour and we planned on leaning heavily on him. Aljon has been out for a while. We had Jamie. Then we also have Dillinger,” pointed out Cone.

“We felt like that position was particularly strong. Now, we basically lost all of them and that position became the thinnest in our team.”

Updates on Gray and Mariano, who have been nursing injuries, remain uncertain, but both players have been actively supporting the team during their All-Filipino conference games.

While the idea of adding a new player to the roster is being considered, Cone revealed that he has not yet engaged in discussions with other teams in the league. However, one name that has surfaced in talks is Magnolia forward David Murrell.

“Is there a trade pending? Not at all. Have we talked to other teams? Not yet. But that’s what this week will be all about. I think we already put a claim on Dave Murrell and we’re going to see if anybody else would pick him up but we’re looking at guys from the MPBL as well.”

As the crowd darlings navigates through these challenges, fans can expect the team to explore all possible options to strengthen their lineup and stay competitive in the league.

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