Ginebra team effort makes up for Jamie Malonzo’s absence

Ginebra Gin Kings' Christian Standhardinger, Ralph Cu, Scottie Thompson in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

Ginebra Gin Kings’ Christian Standhardinger, Ralph Cu, Scottie Thompson in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Ginebra is determined to make a deep run in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs even without one of its key cogs Jamie Malonzo.

Scottie Thompson, who’s one of the most vocal leaders of the Gin Kings, said that the squad’s focus to win the championship is at an all-time high without everyone trying to pitch in to fill the gap left by their high-flying swingman.

“Everyone is stepping up, they’re all stepping up as a team,” said Thompson with Inquirer Sports at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday after their 92-88 win over Meralco.

READ: PBA: Ginebra Game 1 win fueled by abysmal loss to Meralco in elims

“Coach Tim (Cone) told us that Jamie’s role can’t be filled by one player only. It is filled as a team.”

With Malonzo due to a torn Achilles tendon, the Gin Kings’ other key players have stepped up big.

Stanley Pringle dropped 22 staggering points with six rebounds to match while Ralph Cu shot the lights out with 18 points.

READ: PBA: Stanley Pringle, Ginebra slip past Meralco for 1-0 semis lead

Thompson also added that there’s an added motivation on the Ginebra side with how they went out last conference.

In the 2024 Commissioner’s Cup, the Gin Kings got bounced out of the semifinals at the hands of San Miguel, who like the Gin Kings, are currently in the all-Filipino conference’s semis.

“Our outcome in the last semifinals was so bad but now we have a chance to bounce back and I think, so far, the team is running well,” said the former PBA MVP.

“We have a big chance but we know this will be a very tough series so we just have to take this day-by-day and one game at a time.”

Thompson and Ginebra look to take a commanding 2-0 lead on Sunday for Game 2 at the same venue in Pasay.

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