Bishop focuses on defense and rebound for Gin Kings

Bishop focuses on defense and rebound for Gin Kings

TONY BISHOP may not be as dominant as Justin Brownlee but he sure is helping Barangay Ginebra a great deal in getting things done with his strong defensive presence and tenacity under the boards.

Mr. Bishop, the import the Gin Kings tapped to step in after Mr. Brownlee faced doping issues post-Asian Games, led the defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup titlists to a 6-3 record going to the holiday break.

A former Meralco reinforcement, Mr. Bishop averaged 22.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.3 steals in nine games so far as the Gin Kings shared fourth and fifth positions with San Miguel Beer in the race for Top 4 and twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.

“Tony (Bishop) is a proven winner. He took a Meralco team that many thought were undermanned and led them all the way to finals so his credentials are unquestioned,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said on CNN Philippines’ Sports Desk.

“For us being star-studded, he doesn’t have to come out and put up dominating numbers for us. That’s one of the things we talked about. His focus is on rebounds and on the defensive side and the points that he gives us are actually bonus points. He’s exactly what we’re looking for,” he added.

Mr. Cone also lauded Mr. Bishop’s great work ethic.

“No one works harder than Tony (Bishop). He comes to practice everyday ready to work. He doesn’t sit out, doesn’t moan and groan about little aches and pains and just comes to work.

“The players see that, they appreciate it and they appreciate him as a teammate. I think that’s one of the keys to being a great import and driving a team,” the multi-titled mentor said.

The jury is still out on whether Mr. Bishop can bring the crowd darlings to the Promised Land like Mr. Brownlee before him. — Olmin Leyba