Crowd favorites Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will be one of the two teams set to raise the curtains of the 44th Philippine Basketball Association season on January 13 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Though an official announcement has yet to be made, the Gin Kings are now doubling their efforts for the opener, even holding practices at the Upper Deck Sports Center in Pasig City twice a day.
But aside from that, Ginebra are also preparing for their game in Guam just six days after the season opener. This will be the first time in four years that the league will play abroad, or since 2015 when they flew to Dubai.
Ginebra were also on that trip, along with the Alaska Aces and Kia Picanto.
It may be a tough first week of the season for Ginebra, but head coach Tim Cone said that he has no issues with the schedule. For him, it’s all part of being the team with the biggest following in the league.
“I told the guys that’s the curse and blessing of being a member of Ginebra.
“You’re going to be asked to do things because of your popularity, your fan base, that other teams aren’t gonna be asked for,” said the champion coach.
And as tiring as it appears, Cone vowed that they will do their best – that’s why they’re preparing as hard as they can.
“The idea of being a member of this group and that fan base overrules any inconveniences that we may have. We’ll come out,” he said. “As I’ve said we’re going deep into our two-a-days, and we haven’t gone this hard in our two-a-days during the nineties, in my mind.
“So these guys are experiencing what’s it like to play for me when I was a young coach – when I wanted to kill people,” he added with a grin.
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