Stags banking on triangle offense to bring them back to glory

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 23, 2015 08:45 PM
Stags banking on triangle to bring them back to glory
LEADING BY EXAMPLE. Now San Sebastian's team captain, Jamil Ortuoste needs to deliver a huge bounce back season to carry his team back into contention.

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 5-13, eighth

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Bradwyn Guinto, Jamil Ortuoste

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Allyn Bulanadi

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Jovit dela Cruz, CJ Perez

Clearly, the San Sebastian of last NCAA season was far from the proud crew that claimed the only championship that did not come home to Mendiola in the last nine years.

CJ Perez did his best Calvin Abueva impression, Topex Robinson channeled his inner Ato Agustin, but the Golden Stags just did not find any rhythm to fall to their worst finish in the last seven seasons with only five wins to show at the end of the elimination round.

Gone are Perez and Robinson who are now in Katipunan and Intramuros, respectively, but San Sebastian still feels very much confident that this season will be a completely different story.

The reason for that confidence? An all-new offensive system courtesy of Tim Cone student Rodney Santos. "Triangle offense na talaga ang tinatakbo namin because I want an equal opportunity offense," the former Alaska cog and San Sebastian alumnus told ABS-CBN Sports.

Even though the re-shuffled squad opted not to join preseason tournaments, Santos shared that initial results have thus far been promising for his newly-installed scheme. Talking about his players, half of whom did not suit up for the team last year, he said, "Ang galing nila kasi at their age, nakuha na nila,"

Still, for the complex triangle system to become fully-functional, “The Slasher” will need his pair of veteran leaders to bring their A-games. That means that Bradwyn Guinto must remain as the team’s pillar after averaging a 14.2-point, 11.1-rebound double-double in the previous season.

More importantly, Jamil Ortuoste must finally showcase the winning form that made him a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school. The former two-time NCAA Juniors champion gravely struggled the last time around norming only 9.2 markers in 32 percent shooting and having as many turnovers (2.1) as assists (2.8).

With their court general failing to show up, the Golden Stags fell to the bottom three in terms of assists and had the second most turnovers in the previous season. Although the triangle eases the point guard’s ballhandling duties, San Sebastian will need a huge bounce back from Ortuoste just to give themselves an outside chance at the Final Four.

As such, Santos is not making any promises by saying, “We’ll take in one game at a time.”

San Sebastian starts their NCAA Season 91 campaign against hosts Mapua on July 2 at the San Juan Arena. The game will be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 at 4:00 PM and will also be streamed LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports.com.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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