Prior the start of the second conference, there were speculations that Kerby Raymundo will be traded before or during the conference. That rumor seemed true as he was benched for most of the conference. However, come playoff time, Kerby was still wearing a Ginebra uniform and with Ginebra’s frontcourt (except for Macklin), struggling offensively, Coach Chua decided to call Kerby’s number – then he delivered. From the start of the quarters up to the finals, he was expected to provide a steady post-up presence when Macklin was taking a rest. Lastly, he was also expected to give Ginebra a strong veteran presence during crunch time situations.
His average ballooned during the playoffs as he recorded 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds compared to the 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds he put up during eliminations. He also provided that scoring punch at the power forward position – something Hatfield, Mamaril and Taha couldn’t consistently deliver. He also rediscovered his mid-range jumper which his opponents kept on giving him since they were focusing their defenses towards the other Ginebra offensive threats. Kerby’s renaissance allowed Macklin to operate on the post easily. He took advantage of this as he went to the line 33 times during the playoffs, making 70% (compared to 64% during eliminations) of his freebies. He was far more aggressive and looking to score every time he operated in the post as well as on pick and rolls and pick and pop situations.
Kerby’s downfall was on the defensive end. His lacking defense was a big reason why Sonny Thoss had a fantastic finals series because Kerby can’t stop him. Aside from the defense, Kerby’s rebounding numbers were down as well as he only averaged 5.7 rebounds as a starter this conference.
It is not coincidental that Kerby found his groove after the trade deadline. It was obviously hard for him to keep his focus on the court if his name was constantly floating around in trade rumors. In the end, he showed us all that he still got game and still be a constant contributor for Ginebra. But, with Japeth Aguilar now in tow and rumors circulating about Ginebra trying to acquire another marquee big man, it looks like Kerby will have to fight for minutes again in the third conference.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Approval Ratings
|Elmer Espiritu||Robert Labagala||Billy Mamaril||Kerby Raymundo||Jayjay Helterbrand|
|Mac Baracael||Rudy Hatfield||Chris Ellis||LA Tenorio||Mark Caguioa|