New coach confident that cellar-dwelling EAC has nowhere to go but up
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 15, 2016 07:42 PM
LAST IS THE PAST. After finding themselves in last place in back-to-back seasons, all EAC wants for the upcoming NCAA season is to avoid the same fate for the third time in a row.
HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 2-16, 10th place
YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Hamadou Laminou, Francis Munsayac, Sidney Onwubere
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Ariel Sison, Irvin Mendoza
GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Andy de Guzman, Christ Mejos
Never forget, it was Emilio Aguinaldo College – not San Beda, not Arellano, not Perpetual – that put an end to the perfect start of eventual champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
That was the only thing they were better at than the Red Lions, the Chiefs, and the Altas, however, as the Generals trudged through yet another miserable campaign a year ago.
A grand total of one more win was all the UN Avenue-based team was able to add to their headline-grabbing upset of the Knights. They ended the elimination round in last place for the second straight season and pulled the plug on the tenure of first-year head coach Andy de Guzman.
Not long after, Ariel Sison, from the Brigadiers in the Juniors division, was called up to call the shots for EAC. The 42-year-old is an unknown at this point and only time will tell if he, their third coach in the last three years, is finally the one.
The good news for Sison and the long-suffering school that is putting its faith in him, the Generals have one of the most intact lineups in the league with “Little General” Francis Munsayac and double-double machines Hamadou Laminou and Sidney Onwubere all returning. Only Christ Mejos, their sixth man last year, has left the regular rotation.
The bad news, however, is that regular rotation already proved to be one of the weakest in the league last year and the problems that plagued them then remain, if the preseason is any indication. As their new head coach put it, “Una naming kailangang i-work out is yung shooting namin. Masyadong mababa ang percentage ng makes namin sa attempts.”
Still, Sison is nothing but hopeful that their goal, a very modest goal at that, is within reach. “Actually, makaalis lang kami ng dulo, umangat lang kami ng kahit ilang steps, masaya na ako,” he said.
He then continued, “Not necessarily Final Four. Basta hindi lang huli kasi for the last two years, huli kami.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.