Indeed, Alab ‘more solid’ with 6’8 Carter and 6’11 Hughes

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 08, 2017 05:28 PM
Indeed, Alab ‘more solid’ with 6’8 Carter and 6’11 Hughes
READY FOR MORE. Sampson Carter and James Hughes wasted no time in delivering what they promised.

In his debut in the 2016 Asean Basketball League, Sampson Carter was as good as advertised.

Recording 23 points, six rebounds, and six assists, the American was the perfect partner-in-crime for Ray Parks Jr. and the awesome twosome propelled Alab Pilipinas back into the win column on Sunday.

Kaohsiung’s Derek Hall got the better of him in their head-to-head matchup, but fellow debuting import James Hughes wasn’t so bad either in contributing 12 points and nine rebounds of his own.

With their performances, the Americans, without a doubt, did not let down their new teammates whose morale got boosted just with their arrival. “It’s a blessing to have them. We just have to trust them to make a competitive team,” Parks Jr. said last Thursday after his first practice with Carter and Hughes.

He then continued, “I feel like they can help the team so much and then, we will become a different team. We have some options now – we can go big, go small, go quick.”

Carter, Parks Jr.’s boyhood friend, was of the same mind. As he put it, “I definitely think that with me and Bobby’s connection and then with James, we have a more solid team now.”

More than that, head coach Mac Cuan is upbeat not only because of his shiny new toys, but also because of the continued improvement of his locals. “Right now, mas nagkakaamuyan na sila, mas alam na nila yung gusto ng bawat isa. Meron na talagang more familiarity among the locals,” he expressed.

The even better news is that in Cuan’s eyes, his newest wards could only get better. “Wala pa silang legs kasi jetlagged, pagod, wala pa talaga sa game shape. So gradually, we’ll break them in and hopefully, we’ll see their full potential mga third or fourth game nila,” he shared.

What’s important for Alab mentor is that both Carter and Hughes had already fulfilled what they were brought in to do in the first place – provide a presence down low. “Right now, what I want from them is be a presence inside kasi big talaga ang hinahanap natin. Ang wala kami nung may Sandrin brothers is rim protectors,” he said.

He then continued, “At least ngayon, we can match up better and we won’t have to do so many schemes para lang maka-defense.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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