NCAA

NCAA 95: Health only thing standing in way of Baste's best shot at a title

By Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 01, 2019 06:41 PM

Baste is optimistic both Allyn Bulanadi and RK Ilagan will be back in top form for NCAA Season 95

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.

The only question, however, is if Ilagan, who is nursing a knee injury, and Bulanadi, who is on the mend from a shoulder injury, will be at full strength right from the get-go.

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:

Young guns to be wind beneath JRU’s wings for NCAA 95

EAC turning over a new leaf for NCAA 95

Kent Salado back in the driver's seat for Arellano in NCAA 95

Mapua Srs. out to reap the rewards of its champion Jrs. team

Will third time be the charm for TY Tang-coached CSB?

Without a prince, Perps hoping it's still an heir to throne

Letran's Walls of Intramuros still stand strong

Will deeper mean better for Perez and Ayaay-less LPU?

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