National

Ginebra's first practice moved

Ginebra's first practice moved

Barangay Ginebra has moved its first practice of the year to a later date, extending what has been a turbulent week for the crowd darlings.

The Gin Kings were supposed to return to work on Monday morning, which would have marked the first time that coach Tim Cone meets his charges following Greg Slaughter’s sudden sabbatical.

Ginebra is convening instead on Wednesday at Upper Deck in Pasig, according to team manager Rayboy Rodriguez and assistant coach Olsen Racela via separate messages to the Inquirer on Sunday.

Incidentally, a preseason mini-tournament will be staged in the Gin Kings’ usual practice venue, featuring Phoenix and Alaska, along with San Miguel Beer and NLEX.

The Gin Kings have become the new favorites to win the all-Filipino conference following the unfortunate shelving of June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer because of a broken shinbone. But as quickly as Ginebra assumed that tag, the Gin Kings lost it when Slaughter announced that he was taking a break from the basketball, breaking up his frontcourt pairing with Japeth Aguilar, last conference’s Finals most valuable player.

An insider said that Slaughter has been made a trade piece by Ginebra, the only team he has played for that selected

him first overall in the 2013 Draft.Another league source said that the swap would have sent the 7-foot center to NorthPort for Christian Standhardinger, but such a plan was derailed by Slaughter’s decision to go on a hiatus.

The Inquirer has reached out to Cone on Sunday but has yet to respond as of press time. The Grand Slam-winning coach had repeatedly said in previous interviews that he is planning to take on the Slaughter matter in “the next couple of days.” INQ