Last August 18, Michael Calisaan was ejected from San Sebastian’s first round encounter against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals for two unsportsmanlike fouls. It made him miss San Sebastian’s only home game of the season.
With it still fresh in his memory, Calisaan led the Stags’ charge against the Generals, taking an 81-69 win, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The fourth year forward finished with 19 points on 7-for-18 shooting to go along with five rebounds.
“Praise God na hindi nawala si Michael kasi malaking bagay siya sa amin,” said second-year San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya.
And Calisaan was pivotal during the huge end-game run of the Stags that left the Generals in the dust.
With San Sebastian clinging to a 67-65 with 3:45 remaining, Ian Valdez and Calisaan sparked a game-breaking 12-0 rally. On the other end, EAC shot blanks, as the run was capped by a floater by Ryan Costelo.
JM Calma added 12 points and nine rebounds for San Sebastian, while the backcourt of Renzo Navarro and Ryan Costelo combined for 22 markers.
The win pushed San Sebastian to an even 5-5 slate, tying the Letran Knights in fourth place. EAC, on the other hand, dropped to 4-6.
San Sebastian caught a break from an unfortunate injury to wingman Juju Bautista. With 5:24 left in the third frame and the game knotted at 40-all, Bautista — who had already scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds — injured his right ankle after stepping on the foot of his defender.
“Siguro yung napagod na rin sila. Alam naman natin na limited masyado yung rotation nila. Na injure pa si Bautista. Yun siguro yung factor na napagod sila kasi naka-full court naman kami parati,” remarked Macaraya. “Lahat kahit sino gagamitin ko, nag-iistep up din sa depensa.”
Francis Munsayac paced EAC with 14 points, while Irvin Mendoza added 11 points off the bench.
San Sebastian will face the Perpetual Altas on Tuesday, September 12 at 4:00apm. EAC, on the other hand, take on the Mapua Cardinals on Thursday, September 14 at 4:00pm.
SSC-R 81 – Calisaan 19, Calma 12, Costelo 11, Navarro 11, Bulanadi 9, Valdez 8, David 4, Baetiong 3, Mercado 2, Capobres 2, Gayosa 0, Ilagan 0, Are 0
EAC 69 – Munsayac 14, Mendoza I 11, Bautista 10, Diego 10, Garcia 10, Onwubere 9, Bugarin 3, Pascua 2, Guzman 0, Corilla 0, Mendoza J 0, Neri 0
Quarterscores: 21-16, 38-33. 53-52, 81-69