The acquisition of Jamie Malonzo and Von Pessumal couldn’t come at a perfect time for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel as it waits for the recovery of rookie Jeremiah Gray in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Kings coach Tim Cone said Gray is already attending their practices but his activities are still limited to shooting and light workouts so that his anterior cruciate ligament injury will not be aggravated.
The multi-titled mentor said they hope the 6-foot-5 Gray — the second overall pick in the previous Rookie Draft — will join them next month.
“He’s at practice but he’s not practicing,” Cone told the Daily Tribune in a telephone interview.
“He’s doing some shooting and some light drills, nothing heavy at this point. But except for Jeremiah, our health is pretty good. I’m hoping he could join us later next month.”
Gray, who played for Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League and Mighty Sports in a tourney in Dubai, injured his knee while playing for TNT Tropang Giga in the PBA 3×3 tournament late last year.
Despite his condition, Terrafirma still drafted him with the second pick before sending him to the Kings in exchange for No. 8 Javi Gomez de Liano and role player Brian Enriquez.
With the addition of Malonzo from Northport and Pessumal from San Miguel Beer, the Kings wing spot suddenly becomes loaded with talent, giving reigning Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson a lot of help at the attack zone.
In the frontcourt, the Kings will have import Justin Brownlee, Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar while LA Tenorio and Stanley Pringle will man the backcourt with Nards Pinto, Aljon Mariano, Jason David, Sidney Onwubere and Raymond Aguilar providing support from the bench.
Cone believes that health will be a major factor in their quest for another title.
He, however, stressed that Pringle is close to making a return after being bothered by injuries to both knees last season.
“He has pretty much recovered,” Cone said.
“He still has a few issues, but the farther he gets away from surgery, the better he is. I would say he’s very close to 100 percent — probably 97 to 98 percent.”
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