Ginebra doesn’t mind waiting for a talent like Jeremiah Gray.
Thus, the willingness on its part to accept the PBA Season 47 Draft’s no. 2 overall pick from Terrafirma in exchange for another incoming rookie in Javi Gomez de Liaño and seldom-used guard Brian Enriquez in a trade Tuesday.
“Obviously, Jeremiah is a talent we’re ready to wait for,” said Kings head coach Tim Cone in a message to Tiebreaker Times shortly after the league announced the deal, which is already the second player swap to take place in the new season.
The league’s only 24-time champion mentor said that the team ‘really liked’ Gomez de Liaño, their choice with the no. 8 pick in last Sunday’s draft, but the opportunity to get Gray was an opportunity too hard to pass up on.
“We really liked Javi and thought he might play an important role as a shooter for us, but Terrafirma really liked him as well and requested him,” he explained.
Ginebra is fully aware of the fact that they may not have Gray possibly until January next year, since he is still at home in the States recovering from the ACL injury he suffered with TNT in the PBA 3×3 last November.
But Cone said that they can afford to wait, especially now that they are set to welcome Stanley Pringle back in the fold. The 2020 Philippine Cup BPC is expected to come back soon from a knee injury he got late last year.
“Reports are that he may be out a whole year from now, but he’s young and we’re an established team who can wait, especially with Stanley’s return,” said the 64-year-old, who’s also looking forward to Japeth Aguilar being healthy.
As excited as they are to have Gray, though, it was hard for Cone to let go of big guard Enriquez, their 13th overall pick in last year’s draft. But he believes that the Fil-Am cager will thrive in his new environment.
“Brian is going to surprise a lot of people. He may be the steal in that trade,” he said.
“We will miss Brian. He was one of our hardest workers.”