Kings test new team-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
MANILA—New team Globalport Batang Pier tangles against the most popular team--Barangay Ginebra-- as the 38th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) starts with the staging of the 2012 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.
This will be the third time the Gin Kings will see action in the opening of the professional league.
This time coach Siot Tanquincen’s team is all out to break the jinx against the newest team Batang Pier when they collide at 6 p.m.
Opening ceremonies will highlight day which will be capped by the giving of honors to the RP-Smart Gilas national team, which won the 2012 Jones Cup in Taipei last month.
The Kings, who last won a championship crown in the 2008 Fiesta Conference with Chris Alexander as import, will parade new acquisition LA Tenorio, who formerly played for Alaska. The 5’8” guard Tenorio, a fourth overall pick by San Miguel Beer in 2006, will be playing alongside Mike Cortez, Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Mark Caguioa, Kerby Raymundo, Billy Mamaril, Rico Maierhofer, Dylan Ababuo, Rudy Hatfield and rookies 6’4” Keith Jensen and 6’6” Chris Ellis.
They will have their hands full against Batang Pier, who will be spearheaded by two-time MVP Willie Miller and scoring ace Gary David.
Also expected to provide muscles for Mikee Romero’s squad are former Ateneo star and 2010 second overall pick by Air 21 Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Jondan Salvador, Rommel Adducul, Marvin Cruz, Mark Yee, Joshua Vanlandingham, Rey Guevarra, Rudy Lingganay and rookies Vic Manuel, Jason Deutchman and Angelus Raymundo.
After almost six seasons without a title, the Kings have tasted their longest title drought, and longer than when they failed to win a title in the first five years of the post-Sonny Jaworski era.
They were in the finals for the last time in the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup but lost to Talk ‘N Text, 2-4. Ginebra won its last All-Filipino crown in 2006 under Jong Uichico.
“We are ready for Ginebra and we will put up a strong fight,” said Globalport team owner Romero, who bought the Coca-Cola Tigers’ franchise for a reported P100 million at the end of the Governor’s Cup last July. (FCC)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2012.