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Latest News Philippines: A Hill to climb for Ginebra import – Journal.com.ph:
Having been out of basketball scene since April, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s import Herbert Hill is still finding it hard to get his rhythm.
But Gin Kings’ coach Alfrancis Chua understands the situation for the 6-foot-10 reinforcement, a first round draftee of the Utah Jazz during the 2007 NBA Draft.
“Wala lang talaga sa kundisyon dahil since last April pa huling nakalaro sa Korea,” revealed Chua, who has been working double time to whip the Kings to tip-top form in preparation for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup which unfolds on February 8.
In Korea, Hill averaged 19.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks for the Daegu Orionas, becoming one of the most productive imports in the league.
According to Chua, Hill is admitting his being out of shape but is at the same time doing just everything to shake off his rust and be able to help the Kings in their midseason campaign.
Chua nevertheless is seeing good prospect in Hill with the way he executes his gameplan during practice.
“Maayos naman, kaya lang talagang kulang pa. Aminado naman siya (Hill). ’Yung hangin ay 70 percent meron na, pero yung legs niya, wala pa,” added Chua.
The Gin Kings, considered one of the fastest in the league owing to their relatively small line-up, reached no farther than the quarterfinal round in the last Philippine Cup (where they were beaten by Rain or Shine).
With the Commissioner’s Cup seen as more of a battle of rebounds, it is going to be a great deal for the Kings who have Billy Mamaril, Kerby Raymundo and Yousef Taha as the only tall players in their lineup.
But Chua said he is not complaining, saying he’s contended with what he has at the moment.
“No big man. Yung si Taha (Yousef0 ay rookie, pero kung ano ibinigay ng management, ‘yun lang. I’m not complaining,’ said Chua.
The league’s most popular ball club though has a number of hotshots that include Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, L.A. Tenorio, Chris Ellis, and Jensen Keith among others who could be unstoppable on a given night.
The Kings also get some offensive boost with the acquisition of Mac Baracael whom Ginebra caught in the other day’s trade after giving off rookie Allein Maliksi.
But for Chua, the quest remains very tough for the Kings in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Hirap ata nito,” uttered Chua when asked what his wild forecast for the team in the import-laced tournament.
“Alam naman natin na nandiyan ang Talk ‘N Text, Rain or Shine, Petron, San Mig Coffee at Alaska. Ang lalakas ng kalaban, alam nyo naman ‘yon,” said Chua.
“Sa dami ng players, lahat lumakas. Ang Air21 nga lakas din,” he said.
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