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Updated: Jun 26, 2022


It’s a massive upgrade if this pans out.

I am not that keen on giving away a second pick overall for an eighth pick... even with an add-on... but surprisingly, I am okay with this.

The thing about the Barangay Ginebra Kings is that they are perennial championship contenders regardless of conference. Sure, they are going to have a problem with injuries... but what team wouldn’t have one? With that said, Ginebra wheeled and dealt for Jeremiah Gray for the combo of Javi Gomez de Liano and 2021 pick Bryan Enriquez.

I guess for Ginebra, the search for the next Mark Caguioa continues with the departure of Enriquez – the thirteenth pick overall last season who averaged 0.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in 13 games. And all that hype surrounding the acquisition of Javi GDL just went out the window.

I am going to further stress this with the Terrafirma Dyip version.

With that said, I think Ginebra found itself in a win-win situation with Gray. Look, if Gray turns out to be a bust – they are probably going to be okay with this because it’s not like they are down-and-out in options. For starters, Gray is expected to sit the rest of 2022 as he recovers from an ACL. As mentioned in previous blogs, Gray is an “old” rookie as well. I never had Gray in my mock drafts higher than four and I just gave him to Converge because as of this moment, he’s a gamble that could have a major payout.

Also, we have seen star players leave Ginebra because they couldn’t hang with Tim Cone’s system. Sure, Cone’s triangle offense isn’t as complicated as it once was, but it is still a scary thing to learn. Moreover, in some ways, it restricts a player from doing his thing. Gray’s offense – as well as playing time – is going to be suspect with the triumvirate of LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, and the then-available Stanley Pringle in the fold. At this time, Thompson would have had MVP status (I pretty much hope) and Pringle is beginning to get his game back. Gray is going to fight for scoring possessions with this trio alongside Japeth Aguilar, C-Stan, and Justin Brownlee.

I don’t know what Gray’s ceiling is but he could end up as either a restricted version of Roosevelt Adams in Terrafirma or their 2022 version of Chris Ellis.

But Gray is not the only rookie in Ginebra’s squad – with Jayson David taken in the second round and Rence Alcoriza taken in the third round. The thing about these picks is that I don’t see them game-changing the team. Cone, another problem for the rookies, is stingy when it comes to giving rookies minutes. The only time when Cone gets the rookie a free reign is when he goes to a new team and changes the entire landscape as he did in B-Meg when Mark Barroca took over for Roger Yap and Scottie Thompson took away Caguioa’s spot. While Enriquez’s playing time seems atrocious, Ken Holmqvist’s appearances were worse – with just a turnover in his stat in two appearances. Kent Salado – 2.0 points and 1.0 assists – is basically their version of Teytey Teodoro and will probably give way to the players they are going to bring in.

Then again, however, losing Javi GDL to Terrafirma meant that Cone still needs a backup guard and the former Arellano Chief could still have a roster spot (although fellow Arellano Chief Nard Pinto is probably their main guard off the bench).

David came from their 3X3 system so I guess they could reward him with the main roster stint. David has shown that he could go but again, it’s not like 3X3 guys were able to prominently plug their selves into the mix last season. If there’s any consolation, I guess David is going to spearhead their 3X3 team with Alcoriza joining him. Ginebra seems to stack with former top dogs like Joe Devance, Jared Dillinger, and Jeff Chan as key second-stringers. These seniors may be old, but they can still go.

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