Out-of-shape Kevinn Pinkney struggles in Phoenix debut

Phoenix coach Koy Banal expects new import Kevinn Lamar Pinkney to get better in his succeeding games following a so-so PBA debut in the Fuel Masters’ 108-96 defeat at the hands of Tropang TNT in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Pinkney finished the game with a team-high 26 points, but it took him 21 attempts to reach that output.

Banal refused to make their import’s limited practice time with the team an excuse, though he admitted that the 32-year-old NBA veteran is coming off a 7-month layoff.

“He only had 3 days of practice with us, and just like (Kevin) Adeleke, di pa niya agad nakuha (yung sistema), so marami pa talaga siyang kailangang malaman,” Banal, whose import arrived only last Wednesday, told FOX Sports.

Read: Phoenix drops Kenny Adeleke for ex-Boston Celtic Kevinn Lamar Pinkney

“Almost 7 months din siyang nabakante kaya he’s still not in game shape,” he added.

The Fuel Masters dropped to a tie for 8th and 9th spots with idle Barangay Ginebra Kings at 1-2 in the standings.

But Banal said the positive side in their 12-point loss was the weeklong break ahead of them.

“We have 1 week to work with our import and practice before we face Alaska,” noted 

Read: PBA Commissioner’s Cup Import Rankings 1.0

The Enforcers shot just 38 percent from the field (32-of-84) with the usually reliable combo guard RR Garcia held down to 14 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the floor. — By Richard Dy

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2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Power Rankings 2.0

Meralco cools down Phoenix to stretch perfect start

Phoenix looking at 2016 PBA Draft to boost rebuilding process

From injury to glory: RR Garcia sparkles for Phoenix

Phoenix boss keeps expectations low as Fuel Masters enter PBA

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