Barangay Ginebra’s 95-90 preseason win over the Raymond Almazan-less Rain or Shine was a good way to break in rookie acquisitions Greg Slaughter and James Forrester on Wednesday at the Ronac gym.
Mark Caguioa, Ginebra’s resident star, attempted just a few times during his brief stint on the floor, finishing with three points as he enjoyed his time watching his teammates do the damage in the final period.
His long-time backcourt mate Jayjay Helterbrand played like his old, deadly self, firing 18 points, while athletic big man Japeth Aguilar led the league’s most popular squad with 21, including a baseline two-handed slam late in the game that all but settled the outcome.
As excitement builds up following the entry of Slaughter and even the Fil-Canadians Forrester into the team, Caguioa said his wishesMark Caguioa is to see the Gin Kings play true to their potential in the upcoming PBA Philippine Cup that will kick off on November 17.
“Hopefully, we can get rebounds and we could run because when this team wins, everything will come,” Caguioa said, referring to the PBA fans after the league’s banner year this past season that saw a new record crowd of more than 23,000 watch the Ginebra-Alaska Finals last May.
The 2012 season PBA MVP said they will not be all too concerned with other things except to keep working among other things, team chemistry, especially since Slaughter, Forrester and veteran center Jay-Arr Reyes are the three new faces of the Gin Kings, who will play major roles in the All-Filipino conference.
As always, Caguioa is also hopeful that the Gin Kings will stay healthy this entire season in their bid to end the team’s five-year championship drought.
“We’re not gonna be concerned with gate attendance, or what because if this team plays well, everything will come. We’re not looking forward to anything but to just be healthy, and hopefully, we can win the championship,” said Caguioa, who turns 34 on November 19.