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Long rest awaits Ginebra, Cone

MANILA, Philippines — After a gruelling 7-game Finals with Meralco to bag the PBA Governors Cup crown, Barangay Ginebra is in for an extended respite.  

Ginebra coach Tim Cone said yesterday the team won’t regroup for its first practice until Nov. 27 to prepare for next season’s Philippine Cup which starts Dec. 17.  Ginebra makes its first appearance in the coming conference against Star at the Philippine Arena on Dec. 25 in a traditional Christmas Day duel known as the Manila Clasico.

The rest will allow players to recover from the aches and pains of battle.  Finals MVP LA Tenorio, for instance, underwent elbow surgery in an out-patient procedure early yesterday morning at the Makati Medical Center.  He plans to take his family to the US for a well-earned vacation next week.  Joe De Vance will go under the knife to remove a bone spur and bunion in his left foot, the source of discomfort up to his hip.  He’ll also travel to the US after the surgery.  Sol Mercado missed the last three contests of the Finals after suffering a high-grade left ankle sprain in landing hard from a chasedown late in Game 4. He wore a brace while sitting on the bench in Games 5 and 6 but showed up in uniform for Game 7 although he never played.

As for Cone, he left last night to attend a family reunion in Wyoming.  He’ll be back on Nov. 9.  It’s a family get-together that’s been long in the works.  Cone said at least 30 family members are involved.

“I haven’t seen my 71-year-old and 69-year-old sisters in eight years so I’m excited to see them again,” said Cone.  “We’ve already missed the first two days of the reunion but we’re catching up.  Our family is basically from the Pacific Northwest but we’ve got relatives coming from all over.  My daughter, for instance, flew in from Washington and my son from San Francisco.  We were originally booked to leave Manila on Oct. 25 but the Finals went to a Game 7 so we had to rebook our tickets at a cost of over $3,000.  In my 28 years of coaching in the PBA, I’ve never gone abroad the day after the end of a championship series.  This will be the first time.”


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