Dylan Ababou was the first player Barangay Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen approached when the team resumed practice on Tuesday following a 96-88 loss to the B-MEG Llamados Sunday night.
In a surprising move, Tanguingcen left the promising Ababou, who recently set the record for most points in an All-Star Game with James Yap, on the bench, opting to play John Wilson instead.
“(Ababou) was very professional,” Tanquingcen told InterAKTV. “I explained to him the reason why he wasn’t able to play last Sunday.”
The decision not to field in Ababou came as a surprise to a lot of basketball observers, but Tanquingcen said his choice was based on match-up situations.
“We were looking for someone who will guard PJ Simon, so Wilson was chosen,” added Tanquingcen.
The benching of Ababou didn’t sit well with a lot of Ginebra fans, who vented their ire on Twitter.
Tanquingcen said that as a coach, he cannot please everybody.
“It’s hard to play all 15 players on the floor and sometimes there are players that are going to be left out. Even coach Rajko (Toroman) told me that Dylan has been left out a lot of times because he has Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter,” he said.
“But for me, the hardest part is when you tell anyone that he will be replaced or let him go,” added Tanquingcen.
Still, the two-time champion coach said that it’s difficult to set guaranteed playing time for any player, and that includes Ababou.
“There’s no guarantee for any local player that they’re going to see action with specific minutes. I based it on how they perform during practice and how the match-up situations will go,” said Tanquingcen.
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