MANILA, Philippines -- Barangay Ginebra will be ready for Rain or Shine on Sunday, when they open their title-retention bid in the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup.
Three weeks after their triumph in the 2023 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals where they beat the Bay Area Dragons in seven games, the Gin Kings are back in action to defend their crown in the season-ending conference.
Speaking to Noli Eala on "Power and Play," Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone said that they are "okay" even with just a week's worth of practice heading into the tournament.
"I think we're ready to go tomorrow, I think we're ready to play at a high standard," said Cone.
"[We're] just concerned about our conditioning. We're gonna have to shorten our minutes, but we should be, I think we'll be okay," he added.
The Gin Kings will be up against the Elasto Painters, who currently have a 0-3 win-loss record in the conference.
As of now, Cone's primary concern is the status of veteran point guard LA Tenorio, who is still dealing with an abdominal strain that he sustained in Game 6 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals. Tenorio played through the injury and came up big in Game 7, but was advised to rest for two weeks after their championship victory.
"He hasn't really been in practice this whole week. He's still having issues with his injury that he had at the end of the finals," said Cone.
Even with Tenorio's injury woes and a brief period of preparation, the Gin Kings are still considered favorites in the Governors' Cup as they return an intact line-up anchored by naturalized Filipino swingman Justin Brownlee. They also feature reigning Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson, and a host of veterans led by Japeth Aguilar and Tenorio.
Cone says they are embracing their status as favorites and understand what comes with it.
"We have Justin back, we're intact, and we just beat a tremendous Bay Area Dragons team. So we understand that, and we're gonna try to embrace that, but we just have to be ready that everybody we play is going to be ready to get at us," the coach said.
"We can't take a night off. We have to be ready every night, starting with Rain or Shine tomorrow," he added.
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