A Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team that's sporting a different look launches its bid in the PBA on Tour Sunday night against San Miguel Beer at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Gin Kings, who won the Commissioner's Cup but fell short of a three-peat in the Governors' Cup last season, are fielding a crew that's missing big names like Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo and Japeth Aguilar.
Coach Tim Cone himself is giving the floor to assistant Richard del Rosario in the pre-season tourney -- presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus -- so he and the Gilas Pilipinas guys can concentrate on the buildup for the Aug, 25-Sept. 10 FIBA World Cup.
Without the national team stalwarts, the crowd darlings are banking on Christian Standhardinger, Jeremiah Gray, Stanley Pringle, Nards Pinto and Aljon Mariano even as they give more exposure to shock troopers Jared Dillinger, Von Pessumal, Raymond Aguilar and Jason David.
Ginebra's 3x3 mainstays like John Ubalde, Ralph Salcedo, Ralph Cu, Kim Aurin, Donald Gumaru and JJ Espanola are also enlisted for this campaign that begins against the Beermen at 7:30 p.m.
SMB itself is not at full power with only Terrence Romeo, Mo Tautuaa, Jericho Cruz and backup Rodney Brondial, Allyn Bulanadi, Jeepy Faundo and Rob Herdon seeing action in the tour.
Coach Jorge Gallent has also been trying out the likes of veteran Noy Baclao and aspiring Marvin Lee, Chester Saldua. Leo de Vera and John Apacible in the absence of aces June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and Vic Manuel.
The Beermen face the Gin Kings on the heels of their 87-75 romp over NorthPort, which put them at an even 1-1 after an opening 101-016 setback to Phoenix. (OL)