MPBL Team in Focus: Basilan Steel
Migs Bustos on Jul 09, 2019 10:36 AM
Gab Dagangon has been averaging double figures so far for the 2-1 Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic in the 2019 MPBL Lakan Cup.
The Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic entered the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League in 2018 as one of the expansion teams in the second season of the league. The Steel finished with a 7-18 win loss record, tied for last place with the Rizal Crusaders.
This season, Basilan is off to a good start, winning their first two games against the Bicol Volcanoes and the Pampanga Giant Lanterns before falling to the Bulacan Kuyas.
Let's break down the Steel's season so far.
In their first three games, former NCAA standouts Gab Dagangon and Hesed Gabo have been the top scorers for Basilan, both averaging 11 points a game.
Gabo, fresh from his stint with Mapua, has brought to the MPBL his quickness, agility and outside shooting, proving that he can hit the big shots. In the Pampanga game, he hit two crucial three-pointers to keep his team at bay.
The big men of this team are not overwhelmingly tall nor sizeable, but they are gritty, tough and physical.
Standing at only 6 foot 3, Chris Dumapig is one of those underrated bigs who you should always keep an eye on. He has a knack for going after loose balls and is hard to put down. In fact, he's the only player averaging in double-double for the squad (10.5 ppg, 11 rpg in three games)
Jay Collado is a stocky big that can play in and out. He's effective down low and also has a decent outside shot. Anthony Bringas isn't as wide as Collado, but he has the ability to draw the big men out of the painted area because of his reliable perimeter shot.
In the first two wins of Basilan, Jhaps Bautista has been key to their success, as he averaged 13 points. But in their loss to the Bulacan Kuyas, he was a non-factor on offense with a solitary point.
I'm still waiting on Michole Solera and Shaq Alanes to have break out games, as their NCAA experience can be reliable in the games to come. Solera played for the San Beda Red Lions, while Alanes played for Topex Robinson with the LPU Pirates.
What to expect:
This team from the south is a balanced team. No superstars, but some players can emerge given their team play. What’s noticeable in their first few games is while they’re still finding their groove, they also share the basketball, especially when they have the advantage on fast breaks. Gabo’s youth and confidence allows him to be the go-to-guy while Bringas' vesatility allows him to be the main option when the game is on the line. What matters now for Basilan is that they need to identify their leader and scorer.
It will be exciting on how they will develop their consistency, and the Steel will have to double their efforts when they go up against the powerhouse teams such as Manila Stars, Bacoor Strikers and San Juan Knights.
Next game: July 9 versus Marikina Shoemasters