If one were to ask who is the best player on the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings at the moment, don’t be surprised if many point to the new guy on the squad.

Maverick Ahanmisi wasted no time in making an impact with the Gin Kings, as they have counted on him during their 3-1 start to the 2023-2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Need a bucket? Call on Ahanmisi. Need to make the right play? Ahanmisi will get it to the right person at the right time.

Ahanmisi has thus far averaged 17.3 points (on 47/50/79 shooting splits), 9.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 steals through four games, all career-highs. The numbers could change as the season goes on, but they just form part of the narrative of his ability to do whatever is asked of him by head coach Tim Cone and the rest of the Ginebra coaching staff.

The Gin Kings have had this tendency to start their campaigns slowly, but they have benefitted from the energy that Ahanmisi has provided a handful of games into the conference. In Ginebra’s 90-87 win over the Blackwater Bossing, they were playing behind for the entire first half and much of the third quarter. That was, until Ahanmisi took things up a notch.


Ahanmisi handed the Gin Kings their first lead of the game with a huge 3-pointer, but his activity on both ends of the floor had an even greater effect on his teammates. Christian Standhardinger continued to fight on the boards and helped tie things up. Meanwhile, Scottie Thompson continued to keep the ball moving and that contributed to the balanced scoring attack that helped Ginebra prevail in the end. Looking at the bigger picture, though, it’s great to see the chemistry he has already developed with his teammates whether they’re rookies or league veterans.

Health has not been on the Gin Kings’ side given the injury to Jeremiah Gray and the continued recovery of LA Tenorio from his bout with colon cancer. Moreover, much of Ginebra’s roster is on the latter end of 30, so the wear and tear continues to creep on them.

At 32, Ahanmisi is not exactly young, but he is entering the prime of his career. Given the current state of the Gin Kings’ backcourt, the opportunities are there for Ahanmisi to take the lead and the three-year deal he was given certainly means that Ginebra has a lot of faith in him to convert on those opportunities. This early into the season, it’s safe to say that the former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher has definitely made the most out of his chances.

The 2023-2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup is still in its early stages, but Maverick Ahanmisi has quickly made his presence felt with the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. Of course, a lot can happen in a long season like that of the PBA, but a start like this could have a lasting impact on the league’s most popular franchise.