Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Santos expects tireless effort from young Golden Stags

Published

on

Coming off a 5-13 finish last NCAA Season, the San Sebastian Golden Stags knew that it will take more time to establish themselves as perennial title contenders in the post-Pinatubo Trio era.

But their optimism never wavered as the Stags never showed signs of letting up and they remained one of the most hardworking teams of the league despite fielding in a lot of younger players and newcomers entering this season.

In their NCAA Season 91 debut, the Stags almost scored an upset after taking an early lead against the more experienced Mapua Cardinals. However, the fatigue and the inexperience of their young roster led to a tough 86-88 defeat. In that game, veteran Jamil Ortouste led the way with 21 points while Mark Calisaan had 19 points and 8 rebounds.

Despite losing their opening game, newly-appointed head coach Rodney “The Slasher” Santos was all praises for his young group as they fought relentlessly until the game was over. He also added that if his second unit was more experienced, it would have given enough breathing room for his starters to finish off the game with enough energy and avoid giving them heavy minutes most of the time.

“Sabi ko sa mga players ko na importante for our second group to step up since fatigued na ang starters pagdating ng fourth quarter. Pero hats off ako sa kanila kasi they gave it their all kahit pagod. Kung baga sabi ko na it’s not that ‘I don’t trust them, it’s just that they’re all first timers,’” shared Santos when asked about his thoughts for his NCAA coaching debut. “Mahirap talaga silang ilagay sa ganoong sitwasyon so I decided to stay with my starters. Iyon nga lang, ang breaks of the game, as a basketball player kailangan mong ma-experience iyan.”

“Kailangan maging matured sila sa ganoong sitwasyon. Pero hats off to them since alam ko na maski pagod sila, they played their hearts out.”

Moreover, Santos pointed out that his Stags never backed down from the challenge that Mapua gave them. When the Cardinals’ defensive-minded import Allwell Oraeme, who punched in a monster stat line of 15 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks, was imposing his will in the paint, Baste did not falter and continued to slash for hard drives to the basket despite getting denied in a lot of possessions.

NCAA 91 MIT vs. SSCR-7600“Hindi sila natakot kahit may malaking import sa loob. Kung makikita niyo ang daming blocks ni Oraeme pero that was my instruction to take it to them,” added Santos. “Either you get blocked or beat it. Ayaw ko kasi ‘yung makakita sila ng malaki at matakot sila magdrive. Hindi sila umaayaw at kahit pagod they tried to play.”

While Baste’s season is still in its early stages, Santos insists that the school has the goal of landing a playoff spot in this tournament. The goal may be challenging given the presence of other established contenders, but he remarked that hardwork can always outwork the more talented teams in the league. Furthermore, he wants his players to just enjoy playing the game and maintain their composure when the going gets tight.

“Siyempre, ang gusto ng school is [to enter the] Final Four or better than last year. Gusto ng community is at least a top four slot,” remarked Santos. “I can’t promise them anything but I can promise that we will compete and magiging masaya tayong manalo, magiging masaya pa rin kahit talo at makikita niyong lumalaban kami.”

Tomorrow, the Golden Stags will face a bigger challenge in their upcoming game against the defending champion San Beda Red Lions. Given San Bedia’s torrid scoring in their previous games, Santos himself admits that it will be a baptism of fire for his young Stags. But showing no signs of fear, he wants to see the fight in them like many other Stags before.

“San Beda is a powerhouse team and sabi ko naman na walang team ang mahina dito sa NCAA. Lahat naman ng mga kalaban natin malakas so it’s a battle of willingness and who wants the win more. Who knows? Just play with your heart kagaya noong nilaro nila [against Mapua] and kung kailangan pa nila idagdag against San Beda, baka mag-iba pa ang sitwasyon.”

Advertisements
Advertisement
Click to comment

Basketball

Vic Manuel says Alaska yet to return to contender status

Published

on

Photo by PBA Images

Even if they have won their third straight game coming from a 0-2 start in the 2018 Philippine Cup, Vic Manuel thinks that it’s still not enough to tell that the Alaska Aces should be considered as one of the topflight teams in the league.

“Hindi pa rin masabi, kasi lahat ng team ngayon, talagang malalakas na eh, hindi na basta-basta easy yung mga game eh,” said “The Muscleman” Sunday night, after he and the Aces took down Barangay Ginebra, 97-83, at the Ynares Center.

The way the Aces have been playing this 2018 is remarkably different from the way they did last 2017, where they raked in more losses than wins. For Manuel, it’s partly because of the team regaining their competitive fire.

“Sa practice pa lang, talagang nakikipag-compete eh. Walang easy kahit sa practice, talagang bigay-todo lahat,” said the 30-year-old, who has been with Alaska since 2014.

“Sobrang aggressive, kaya yun, nadadala namin sa game.”

It also helps that the Milkmen have been healthy so far this season, unlike last year where they couldn’t even field a complete line-up in almost every outing. Manuel knows it too well, as he had been injury-plagued last season.

“Yung injury ko talaga, hindi madali eh, kasi sa tuhod talaga, sa left knee,” said the six-foot-four forward from Nueva Ecija. “So pinu-push nila ako kung ano ang kailangan ko gawin. Ayun, nagbubunga naman lahat.”

Now, eyes are on the Aces if they can keep this streak of theirs going. And for Manuel, who led the Aces with 18 points and five rebounds against the Gin Kings, all they need to do is to sustain what they have right now in their next games.

“Kailangan every game, focused pa rin kami, mas maging aggressive kami,” he said.

“Kung anong mga ginagawa namin nitong mga last three games namin, kailangan dalhin pa namin sa mga susunod naming games.”

Apologies to LA Tenorio

After the bout, Manuel had actually planned to approach Ginebra’s star point guard LA Tenorio regarding the spat they figured into late in the third quarter, after the former undercut the much bigger Manuel near the rim.

But Manuel made it clear that he wasn’t going after Tenorio to get back at him. All that he wanted to do was to apologize, as he found out that Tenorio was just trying to help him get back up and not trying to instigate something.

“Sabi niya, ‘bakit mo ako binigyan? Itatayo na nga kita eh.’ Nahiya din ako sa kanya. Magso-sorry sana ako, eh wala eh, lumayo na siya eh,” Manuel shared with a chuckle.

“Lalapitan ko sana eh, pero umalis agad.”

That incident was just one of the many things that frustrated Tenorio. Aside from absorbing their second straight loss, he couldn’t get things going, as he only scored five on a dismal 1-of-13 shooting from the floor.

“Magandang bonus din sa’min yun kasi medyo masama yung nilaro niya,” said Manuel.

“Swerte na lang siguro kami.”

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Calvin Abueva rejuvenated with return of physical play: ‘Masarap maglaro’

Published

on

Photo by PBA Images

For Calvin Abueva, it feels great to play in the PBA nowadays.

The Beast, who has always been known as one of the league’s most physical players since entering in 2012, was all praises for the way the officiating has changed this 43rd season — by just letting all the players play.

“Mas gumanda yung tawagan ngayon, naging physical nga. Naging exciting para sa mga tao, mas marami na nanonood ngayon eh,” said Abueva moments after their 97-83 victory over the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Sunday night.

As has been said many times, physicality had become something controlled over the last two years. Abueva knows it too well, having been a casualty, as he has paid a bevy of penalties during that time.

And now that it is a thing of the past, the 6-foot-2 bruiser feels much better, knowing that he can display his brand of basketball once more.

“Masarap maglaro, talagang pisikalan,” said the 29-year-old forward from Angeles, Pampanga. “Siyempre makikita naman natin kung sinasadya o hindi, basta katawan lang.

“Pisikal. Yun yung magandang laro di ba?”

Aside from the comeback of physicality, what makes Abueva beam even more is the way the Aces have been playing in the 2018 Philippine Cup. After a 0-2 start in the tourney, they have now booked their third straight win.

“Nung 2017 parang nilubog na namin yung losing streak namin doon. Ito 2018 na at panibagong destination na naman yung ina-ano namin,” said Abueva, who had nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists against Ginebra.

“Sustain muna namin ‘to… Sana magtuloy-tuloy ‘tong winning streak namin.”

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Alaska takes advantage of Greg Slaughter’s absence

Published

on

For the streaking Alaska Aces, their stunning 97-83 victory over the favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night was partly made possible by the absence of one key player: seven-foot behemoth Greg Slaughter.

The 28-year-old center, who was averaging 20.67 points and 10.3 rebounds prior to Sunday, did not play against the Aces due to a hamstring injury. How he incurred the injury has yet to be determined.

“There’s a small person named Greg Slaughter who didn’t play; I think he has an impact on the game,” quipped coach Alex Compton after the match.

“[They missed] a guy who I think is gonna win an MVP soon in Greg Slaughter.

“Sometimes dito sa liga natin, you have to take advantage when opportunities come your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt [though],” added Compton.

With Slaughter out of the way, the Aces’ big men feasted.

Vic Manuel top-billed with 18 points and five rebounds, and elder statesman Sonny Thoss turned back the clock with a 17-point, four-rebound outing.

“Malaking bonus na rin sa amin, kasi wala nga si Greg kaya nakuha namin yung panalo,” said Manuel.

“Yeah it definitely helped,” added the six-foot-seven Thoss, who shot 6-of-12 from the floor and made four of his freebies.

“He’s a big guy, he’s a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder.”

Slaughter was approached and asked by scribes regarding his injury, but he was not in the mood to comment. No one can blame him, though, since the Barangay have slipped to their second straight defeat after a 2-0 start.

“I’m always there in practice, going over our gameplans. But it’s better if you ask our PT,” he said.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Alaska completes turnaround at Greg Slaughter-less Ginebra’s expense

Published

on

Photo by PBA Images

A strong second half surge was all the Alaska Aces needed to turn back the heavily-favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 97-83, and book their third straight victory, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The Aces, who have yet to lose this 2018, have now improved to 3-2. Meanwhile, the Barangay absorbed their second straight loss and have dropped to 2-2.

“I was telling the guys na parang ang dami nating iniisip, hindi natin ginagawa yung ginagawa natin noong nakaraang dalawang linggo. Sabi ko relax lang tayo,” said coach Alex Compton, sharing what he told his wards that sparked the win.

Vic Manuel led the Milkmen with 18 points and five rebounds. Sonny Thoss turned back the clock as he made 17 markers on 6-of-12 shooting, while Chris Banchero supplied 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

The Aces were trailing by eight, 36-44 at the half, but it became a different ball game come the third chapter as they outscored the Gin Kings, 37 to 19, to erect a favorable 73-63 cushion heading into the game’s final 12 minutes.

From there, Alaska kept their foot on the gas to sustain their lead, which grew to as much as 18, 85-67, after their 6-0 spree — punctuated by Banchero’s lay-up plus a foul — with 6:14 remaining in the final frame.

Ginebra still tried to make one last push as they inched within 10, 75-85, but baskets by Thoss and Kevin Racal propelled Alaska to an 89-75 lead with 3:42 left to play — more than enough to knock out their counterparts.

“I was glad to come away with the win,” added Compton. “Sometimes, we have to take advantage of opportunities coming your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt but when two number one picks on the other team aren’t playing… There.”

Jvee Casio had 13 markers for Alaska, while Calvin Abueva nearly had a double-double of nine points and nine boards along with five assists in 20 minutes.

Aljon Mariano had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three dimes for Ginebra, who — despite having Sol Mercado back in the fold after ankle issues — missed the services of Joe Devance and Greg Slaughter due to injuries.

Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, and Kevin Ferrer each scored 12 for the Barangay, with Thompson adding five assists. The trio combined for 15 of Ginebra’s 43 rebounds.

Alaska will aim to extend their streak versus the Blackwater Elite on Saturday, January 27 at 4:30 PM, while Ginebra will look to end their slump against the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. Both games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Alaska 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0.

Ginebra 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0.

Quarterscores: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Trending