Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone hailed the selection of Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, Prince Caperal and Scottie Thompson to individual honors in the PBA Special Awards while hoping to see the trend continue when it defends the Philippine Cup crown later this year.
Ginebra nearly swept the awards handed out in Sunday night’s hour-long ceremony at the TV5 studios in Mandaluyong, with Pringle taking the most coveted award as the Best Player of the Conference.
Arvin Tolentino fell short of making it a sweep for the Philippine Cup champions after placing second behind Meralco’s Aaron Black in the race for the Outstanding Rookie plum.
“I’m genuinely proud and happy for our guys,” Cone said. “All those guys that won awards put in the work day-to-day and the awards are well-deserved.
Pringle became the “Bubble MVP” after winning the closest Best Player of the Conference race in PBA history. The 33-year-old had 1,640 points to edge out Phoenix Super LPG’s Matthew Wright who had 1,578.
Aguilar made it to the Elite Five for being second among frontcourt players with 647, trailing only Phoenix’s Calvin Abueva who had 698. TNT’s Poy Erram was the other member of the group with 463.
Caperal edged Phoenix’s Justin Chua after getting 2,447 points compared to the latter’s 2,096 to take home the Most Improved honors while Thompson got 2,360 against Terrafirma’s CJ Perez’s 2,069 to receive the Sportsmanship plum.
Cone said the individual awards validate the success Ginebra had during the two-month bubble in Pampanga where it was able to win the Philippine Cup crown with a five-game conquest of TNT in the Finals.
It’s something Cone would like to see moving forward as Ginebra plays the role of the hunted when the PBA’s 46th season opens with the Philippine Cup in April.
“Usually in the PBA, individual awards are often a function of team success so we’re looking for more of both in the upcoming conference,” he said.