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Cone optimistic on Bishop’s fit in Ginebra

MANILA, Philippines – New Ginebra import Tony Bishop has “the potential to be a really, really good fit” for the Gin Kings moving forward, head coach Tim Cone said.

Bishop, who was named as the team’s import as Justin Brownlee’s status is still up in the air, had a dominant debut for the Gin Kings in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Converge Friday night, scoring 32 points, hauling down 12 rebounds and dishing out three assists.

He also stole the ball thrice and swatted two shots in the 100-86 victory over the FiberXers.

Cone later on told reporters that while there are still a few adjustments that Bishop has to go through, the potential is there.

“I think he has the potential to be a really, really good fit for us. But again, it’s a work in progress still,” the Asian Games gold medal coach said.

He added that Bishop’s basketball IQ and work ethic are really good things for the new-look Ginebra squad.

The mentor also likened Bishop to another beloved import — Sean Chambers.

“We didn’t feel like Tony was the foreign to us when he came to the team. We felt we had a really good feel for the kind of game he plays and the personality he has. Of course, you see a little bit more close up, but from a distance and being in that championship series with him, we learned a lot about him,” Cone said.

“He has a high basketball IQ. He works really hard in practice every day, he wins all of our drills, and he kind of reminds [me] a little bit of Sean Chambers in practice,” he added.

Brownlee, the longtime Ginebra import who also helped Gilas Pilipinas clinch its first gold medal in the Asian Games in 61 years, was flagged by the International Testing Agency after the gold medal finish.

He was flagged for carboxy-THC, a specified prohibited substance according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Bishop, a former import of the Meralco Bolts, was then tapped as the foreign reinforcement of Ginebra.

“Christian [Standhardinger,] Japeth [Aguilar,] they’re trying to figure out how to mix with [Bishop] and the guards are trying to find the best spot for him. But we’re confident that it’s going to work out well,” Cone said.

Bishop, meanwhile, said that he is not worried about the