PBA 44 review: Golden Kings
Paul Lintag on Feb 11, 2020 09:16 AM
(Photo by Richard Esguerra)
You thought the PBA's 43rd season was a long one?
Yeah, the PBA's 44th season had it beat.
The 2019 PBA season started at the Philippine Arena on January 13, 2019. It officially ended January 17, 2020 when Barangay Ginebra won the Governors' Cup Finals.
Ironically, the Gin Kings won the first and last games of the 2019 season.
Anyway, the point is the PBA's 44th season was a marathon. And before a new one starts, it's time to take a look at how all 12 teams fared in the past year.
Today, we look at Barangay Ginebra.
Over midway through the 2019 season, Barangay Ginebra was not having a good year.
The Gin Kings lost Manila Clasico playoffs in the Philippine Cup. Ginebra was up 1-0 in the short best-of-3 series and they just gave it away.
In the Commissioner's Cup, Ginebra lost its title even while pairing super import Justin Brownlee with Stanley Pringle, a big piece the team acquired with a shocking mid-conference trade with Northport.
Magic Brownlee simply didn't work in the semis against the 10-1 TNT KaTropa and the Gin Kings lost their title with a four-game loss in the best-of-5 series.
With the year winding down, Ginebra got a little too busy.
The Gin Kings' core was chosen to make up Gilas Pilipinas' 2019 Southeast Asian Games team. Ginebra prepared for that all while playing the 2019 Governors' Cup.
Ginebra naturally struggled at first, but the Gin Kings' busy season proved to be golden.
First, Gilas swept through the SEA Games. The Gin Kings then returned to the PBA and lost a grand total of two playoff games.
Ginebra ended San Miguel Beer's Grand Slam bid in the quarterfinals before ending Northport's dream conference in the semis with a strong 3-1 series win.
Come the Finals, another showdown with Meralco, the Gin Kings were as sharp as ever in a sensational 4-1 win.
Barangay GINEBRA in the PBA's 44th season
Philippine Cup: 7-4 (3rd place, lost in Quarterfinals)
Commissioner's Cup: 7-4 (4th place, lost in Semifinals)
Governors' Cup: 7-4 (4th place, won Finals)
Overall: 21 wins and 12 losses. Three playoff appearances, ONE CHAMPIONSHIP.
After winning the Governors' Cup, Ginebra immediatelt made it public that they were going to go after the Philippine Cup.
That goal takes a blow now with Greg Slaughter's "break" from basketball.
Still, the Gin Kings should still be strong contenders in the All-Filipino as they're set to unleash Stanley Pringle in the Philippine Cup.
That and Justin Brownlee's eventual return to the team, Ginebra should have another strong season in 2020.
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