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Ex-Gin King Aris Dimaunahan looks forward to facing Ginebra, now as coach

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Tiebreaker Times Ex-Gin King Aris Dimaunahan looks forward to facing Ginebra, now as coach Basketball News PBA  PBA Season 44 Blackwater Elite Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Aris Dimaunahan 2019 PBA Commissioners Cup

Aris Dimaunahan will always have a soft spot in his heart for the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

The 6-foot guard began his PBA journey with the Gin Kings. Back in the 2002 Rookie Draft, Ginebra picked Dimaunahan, a product of the University of Santo Tomas, as the 26th overall.

Dimaunahan remained a Gin King until 2006. He would play for four more teams until he suited up for the San Miguel Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League from 2011 to 2013, which proved to be his swan song.

Fast forward to 2019, Dimaunahan now serves as the interim head coach of the young Blackwater Elite, a franchise he has been working for since its entry into the Filipino pro league in 2014 as an expansion team.

Dimaunahan aced his first-ever test when he steered the Elite to a successful Commissioner’s Cup debut last Sunday by way of a character-testing 94-91 victory over the Norman Black-mentored Meralco Bolts.

“Sa totoo lang, sobrang kinakabahan ako. Sobrang kinakabahan ako,” expressed Dimaunahan, who grew up in the league together with the likes of Mark Caguiao and Jayjay Helterbrand.

“Siyempre, this is the big league, and I want to thank the management for giving me the opportunity to coach this team.”

Now, Dimaunahan is looking ahead to their second game, which, interestingly, will be against the Barangay.

This will be the first time that he faces Ginebra as a head coach. Adding further drama, on Friday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, he will go up against another decorated mentor in coach Tim Cone.

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That makes two Grand Slam coaches in his first two games as a coach. But Dimaunahan isn’t backing down.

“Big test for a rookie coach. After coach Norman, it’s coach Tim. I’d be more motivated,” said the 41-year-old. “We’ll see what happens. We’ll have a meeting with the coaches, and we’ll make up the best plan possible against Ginebra.

“And, hopefully we can get another win on Friday.”

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