HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 6-12, tied for 6th-7th
YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Allyn Bulanadi, JM Calma, Alvin Capobres, RK Ilagan
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Rommel Calahat, Ramil Tero
GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Michael Calisaan, Ian Valdez
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM SAN SEBASTIAN?
San Sebastian will no longer have Michael Calisaan – its longtime heart and soul – to trot out in NCAA Season 95.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the Golden Stags are going away as now, the awesome twosome of RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi are in complete command.
Ilagan is a proven scorer who torched all of the nets in preseason leagues while Bulanadi is an all-around wing whose game is perfect for the way basketball is played nowadays.
“Obviously, sa team, the responsibility isn’t solely on the shoulders of RK and Allyn. Of course, the other veterans must be there also.” – head coach Egay Macaraya
It will not be a surprise if both of them – or at the very least, one of the two – is in the running for MVP.
That means Baste will also be a legitimate threat for one of the four playoff berths as fiery mentor Egay Macaraya continues his quest to bring his alma mater back to its golden days.
WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM SAN SEBASTIAN?
Again, if healthy, Ilagan and Bulanadi can be the best 1-2 punch in all of the league.
Alongside them, JM Calma is also poised to make a leap from a steady center who gets rebounds and gives his all on defense to a modern big man who can be a two-way force for San Sebastian.
The Golden Stags don’t have that many rookies, but are nonetheless expecting continued development from second-year players Alex Desoyo, Jessie Sumoda, and Ken Villapando.
WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR SAN SEBASTIAN?
San Sebastian is one of only two teams that have broken through in this dynastic run of San Beda University.
With the Red Lions as young as they have ever been and the field as wide open as it has ever been, the Golden Stags have a golden opportunity to repeat that feat – if, and only if, Ilagan and Bulanadi are a-ok.
Even if they won’t be, though, there is no doubt that coach Egay will have his boys fighting and clawing for each and every possession.
“I still want more players stepping up. It will be nice if everyone contributes in their roles at any given time. It’s going to be a very big advantage for us if that happens.” – head coach Egay Macaraya
WHERE WOULD SAN SEBASTIAN BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 95?
San Sebastian will be a playoff team that will feel good about its chances of making the Finals – again, if, and only if, Ilagan and Bulanadi are themselves.
“It’s about time we embrace the pressure, the responsibility, and especially, the challenge that we can be one of the top teams this season. I just hope and pray that there will be no more distractions this season.” – head coach Egay Macaraya
Barring a nightmare scenario where the two are hobbled all throughout the tournament, or where they yet again forfeit wins due to off-court circumstances, the Golden Stags will still be playing after the end of the elimination round.
WHEN IS SAN SEBASTIAN’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 95?
Ilagan, Bulanadi, and the rest of Baste look to give Jose Rizal University the first taste of their horns on July 9 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
As always, the latest season of the first and oldest collegiate league in the country will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream.
HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NINE OTHER TEAMS IN NCAA SEASON 95:
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.