With the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup tentatively scheduled to kick-off late this month, Barangay Ginebra is looking for a fresh start as it tries to rebuild its core after a failed Philippine Cup title defense.
A two-time Grand Slam-winning mentor, Tim Cone made a significant move by trading oft-injured forward Arthur dela Cruz to NorthPort for up and coming wingman Sidney Onwubere who had a breakout campaign with the Batang Pier last conference with averages 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 13 games.
Dela Cruz, on the other hand, averaged 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2 assists for Brgy. Ginebra during their 2019 Governors’ Cup title run and skipped playing in the recently concluded Philippine Cup due to an assortment of injuries which continues to hamper his professional career.
Onwubere’s remarkable stint with the Mikee Romero-owned franchise impressed Cone so much that he decided to acquire the 8th overall pick of the 2017 draft in time for the Gin Kings’ campaign in the upcoming conference.
“We saw a player who’s shown flashes of solid potential. We’re hoping we can bring more out of his game at Ginebra,” said Cone.
Meanwhile, Cone bared that Dela Cruz, who came off a celebrated collegiate career at San Beda, has a lot to offer in the league especially now that he is healthy.
“Art was the guy I really pursued to bring to Ginebra. Needless to say, we had great hope for him, but he’s had problems staying healthy. He is healthy now and if he can stay healthy, he’s a premier player in the league,” said the league’s winningest bench tactician.
The trade marked the end of Dela Cruz’s four-year stint with Brgy. Ginebra where he was part of two successful title runs.