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Ginebra sets high standard

Winning the Commissioner’s Cup title over a crack foreign team from Hong Kong had prompted Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to set a high standard when it launches its title defense in the Governors’ Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association.

The Kings immediately made their presence felt when they scored a 116-108 win over a hapless Rain or Shine squad in their first game in the season-ending conference.

None among the players set the standard higher than three-time Best Import Justin Brownlee, who completed a triple-double performance of 29 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Five other players wound up in double figures — Japeth Aguilar (18), Scottie Thompson (15), Jamie Malonzo (14), Stanley Pringle (14) and Nards Pinto (12) — as the Kings barely showed signs of a championship hangover celebration.

“We just wanted to set a standard for ourselves, playing at a high standard,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said.

“We had to really lift our game to beat the Dragons. We have to play above normally to beat them. We set a high standard trying to do that. Now, we want to come out to really reach that standard every time we come out. I hope that serves as a motivation every time we come out.”

Cone said the schedule presented to the Kings in their return to action is so tight that it brings back memories of the championship or playoff series.

But the Kings are so familiar playing in situations such as this and they barely had any trouble despite having only two practices and the victory was like a spill over from the successful run they had in the previous conference with practically having an intact roster.

“Our schedule is so compressed. It’s like playing in a best-of-seven now — every play day. The good news is we’ve experienced playing in a seven-game series. Hopefully, we’ll get better,” added Cone, who led the Kings to four of the last five Governors’ Cup titles.

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